Apple has adopted a wait an see attitude towards mobile payments after deep-rooted discussions within the company, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Passbook will users to collate their vouchers, coupons, plane tickets and store cards, but does not offer any immeditate indication that a mobile payments service like Google Wallet will be launched.
Ambitions scaled back, for now
The article, paraphrasing an unnamed Apple executive, says the company wanted to take advantage of the 400m credit cards registered to iTunes, with a view to creating Apple's own payment network or teaming up with an existing service and taking a cut.
Scott Forstall's iOS software development team were encouraged to "brainstorm a comprehensive wallet app," but amibtions were eventually scaled back.
Beyond software, the company also investigated new NFC technologies, but decided at this point that the chips would be too great a drain on the iPhone's battery life.
When the mobile payment discussions came to an executive review in early 2012, many "baulked" at the idea, amid further fears over slow vendor adoption, and we ended up with Passbook.
Of course, between now and the final launch of iOS 6, expected this autumn, we could see a new version of Passbook to complement an NFC-enabled iPhone 5 device, kick-starting Apple's entry into the arena. For now, it's a definite wait and see.
However, It's likely to happen sooner rather than later, as analyst Gene Munster says: "They let their competitors do their market research for them."
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A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and TechRadar.com. He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.