Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Apple Could Be Plotting Game Changer on E-Commerce

Apple could be launching an attack on e-commerce. 

You probably don't know this unless you following the daily in-and-outs of Apple news. On New Year's Eve 2011, an app called GameStore was accidentally published and let lose in the App Store. 

Really, there was nothing to GameStore other than that it was meant to allow users to buy things, fconceivably, in-app purchases. However, there was nothing to buy. And moreover, GameStore costs $0.99. 

Now, Apple has informed buyers that they will be issuing a refund for the purchase. Macrumors has tracked this back to 2009 when it was iOS 3 that dominated the landscape. 

You might think that it was a mistake. Well, it was and Apple has acknowledge it so. However, the official explanation from Apple was now what everyone expected. It certainly was not what I expected. 

According to Apple, the app was prematurely launched and "was made available for sale prematurely".  

What those words mean is that an app will be forthcoming. However, a dedicated in-app app for apps in general makes very little sense unless Apple includes other forms of goods along with it. And I am not talking about ebooks, music, or videos since there is iBooks and iTunes for that. 

With hundreds of millions of accounts with active credit cards in its database and continuing talk over the last couple of years about mobile payment, I surmise Apple is close to launching a bold mobile commerce plan and will revolutionize e-commerce. It seen since Amazon came out and changed book buying during the dotcom boom. 

Whether Apple will charge to process transactions or take a percentage, what is really going on is that Apple is looking to monetize its legions of iOS and Mac users who have demonstrated over the years their collective willingness to spend.  

So to recap, an app for commerce is forthcoming. And we know Apple has designs on those iTunes accounts. And we know Apple has patents for mobile payments. 

Put all of that together and you are looking Apple for people to buy "things", just as the description says. On top of that, it has placeholders for SKU and picture for product. 

I am pretty sure I am right. Question is when this will happen and to what extent is Apple going to put itself between its users and stores or restaurants. 

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

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