In the smartphone race, functionality and useability continue to drive innovation and value. The main two competitors, Apple and Google are leading the charge, each trying to out duel the other. And while Android devices outnumber iPhones, Apple remains a closed architecture while Android is open, used by multiple mobile phone manufacturers.
The latest announcement is that Google has finally created a mobile pay application to rival Apple Pay. According to Wired, "The service—which will be available on future Android phones as well as
from the Google Play app store—operates much like Apple Pay. It stores
your credit card details on your phone, and both in shops and online,
you can pay for goods and services by touching the phone’s built-in
fingerprint reader." And it is the next iteration of Google Wallet.
Whether the introduction of Apple Pay caused consumers to switch devices or whether Android Pay will have a similar effect remains to be seen. Still the challenge for Google is that, unlike Apple, it has to be integrated across multiple competing devices that all run under the Android operating system. Within the Android world, Samsung also has its own version of a digital wallet called Samsung Pay. What confusion that brings to the marketplace remains to be seen.
Clearly, the use of a digital wallet simplifies the purchase process. For those that use it or perhaps apps like Starbucks to pay for goods and services, it becomes an easier convenience than pulling at a wallet. And as consumer use grows, so to will the number of retailers that will enable it at their locations.
Apple and Google are clearly pushing each other to become the predominant smartphone brand. With each innovation comes new model phones, new revenue opportunities, and new partnerships. And this competition seems ready to intensify.