Apple’s next big thing?

iTV or iWatch? or is it really an iWallet?

“‘I think a year ago, when Apple stock was on its sort of unstoppable run-up toward $700 per share, a lot of people on Wall Street and elsewhere had expectations about the company that have proven to be a bit unrealistic. People really expected that Apple was going to introduce some kind of new blockbuster product, probably a television set, and that this new product category would open up a new multi-billion-dollar line of business for Apple. Obviously, that hasn’t happened,’” explained NPR’s technology reporter Steve Henn on the precipitous drop of Apple shares earlier this year,” Sterling Wong reports for Minyanville. “Henn continued, ‘[But Apple’s] not in trouble. You know, Apple’s iPhone business alone is bigger than all of Amazon, and it’s growing faster than Amazon.’”
“Indeed, investors seem to be recognizing that Apple is still an enormously profitable company with an incredible $140 billion cash hoard, and that iPhone and iPad sales are still going from strength to strength,” Wong writes. “And for all the talk about the iWatch or Apple TV being the next game-changing innovation, it might be software innovation in the realm of mobile payments that proves to be Apple’s future stock catalyst.”

Wong writes, “Apple already possesses an ultimate trump card over Google and other competitors: the ability to leverage 500 million iTunes accounts with credit cards. ‘Apple’s iTunes platform boasts over 500 million accounts with a credit card on file, and if they can begin offering fingerprint authorization on their new iPhone, which is very likely given their acquisition of [mobile security firm] AuthenTec last year, then they’ll have a huge advantage in reducing fraud transactions and activity, which makes up 5-20% of merchants costs,’ [says Adam Grunwerg, editor at]. ‘Furthermore, charge backs and fraud activity are the things that have prevented Apple from offering mobile payment solutions in the past, according to Dan Schatt at PayPal.  Fingerprint identification would reduce most of these.’

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