By not bother sweating about the contracts with the labels until after the service was live and leveraging their massive Amazon S2 cloud server cluster for quick rollout, Amazon was able to leap-frog Apple and Google into the cloud with Cloud Locker, a stream-anywhere digital locker for multimedia files.
Now it looks like Amazon wants to try to do it again, this time with mobile payments, and while they may not beat Google and Apple to the punch on NFC, they’ve already got all the rest of the infrastructure in place to use the competition’s NFC chips when they finally start rolling out to handsets.
According to Bloomberg, Amazon’s Amazon Payments department is working on a service that would allow physical retail outlets to take payments from customers by slurping in a user’s payment details using Amazon’s mobile app.
Amazon’s app would leverage the NFC chip in competitor’s smartphones to effect the transaction. It could also be used to find out-of-stock real world items on Amazon’s site and order them instantly by tapping the item’s NFC tag or barcode against the smartphone, and possibly share a cut for the referral with the originating physical store.
It’s pretty easy to see the conflict that would result between Amazon and Apple if both unveiled mobile payment systems. Apple’s just not going to allow Amazon to piggyback off of their NFC chip without their traditional 30% cut.
Frankly, I think the days of getting Amazon products are pretty much over on iOS. Amazon’s already in the process of trying to steal the Android ecosystem out from beneath Google with their new (and far superior) Amazon Appstore. Apple’s simply not going to allow Amazon to make a play at the same thing with mobile payments, especially since Amazon and Apple directly compete in so many other areas, from music and e-book sales. Drainage!