Is Apple getting into the hotly contested mobile payments space?
Not just yet, but the thought has certainly crossed CEO Tim Cook's mind, as he hinted during a conference call yesterday to discuss the tech giant's first-quarter earnings.
"We're seeing that people love being able to buy content, whether it's music or movies or books, from their iPhone using [fingerprint sensor] Touch ID. It's incredibly simple and easy and elegant. And it's clear that there's a lot of opportunity there."
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple has indeed been working to expand its mobile payment efforts. Eventually, customers would pay for physical goods and services such as taxi rides and apparel with an iTunes account. Jennifer Bailey, a longtime Apple executive, has already assumed a new role for the project, the Journal reported.
Apple customers spent more than $10 billion on apps in 2013, including more than $1 billion in December alone, a sign that Apple might have a shot at disrupting the market. However, the company would face stiff competition in an industry crowded with startups, including Stripe, whose recent $80 million funding round gave it a valuation of $1.75 billion, and Square, which processes more than $10 billion annually.