Amazon Wants To Drink Apple’s Milkshake, Launch Mobile Payment Service

Amazon Wants To Drink Apple’s Milkshake, Launch Mobile Payment Service

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!

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  • Robert Pruitt

    Now they just need some apps to help us utilize the streaming. Right now just backing up work files.

  • 300AShareMakesMeSmile

    Amazon is making Apple look like a crippled giant and Amazon investors are going wild. Amazon is doing everything right and Wall Street is pushing the stock higher and higher while Apple shares are falling. Amazon is very agile and cutting corners and apparently it matters to investors that Amazon’s stealing both Apple and Google’s thunder. As Apple grows it needs to take time to make moves and Wall Street sees that as a serious weakness. Apple’s huge data center needs to become coordinated with all of the rest of Apple’s hardware and software rollouts whereas Amazon doesn’t have to wait for anything. It just does it. Cloud service servers online overnight and they win the race. It makes Apple look like they’re sleeping. First strike is always the most impressive way to excite Wall Street and investors.

  • davester13

    Yes, cutting legal corners is a excellent strategy. Apple is so foolish for not following this same strategy.

  • William Carr

    Apple Stock is at $341.19, and viewed on the six month timescale your comment about Apple shares falling is a bit silly. Viewed on the yearly timescale it’s ridiculous.

    “Amazon doesn’t have to wait for anything. It just does it.”

    And then waits to see if their lack of actual hardware tie-in will lead to a flop like the Kindle.

  • Beast_m

    Although Apple create some of the most super fantastic things in technology history(ipad, iphone, max os x,imac) it tends to a lot of things the wrong way:
    Ping, mobileme, and clunky iTunes

    Amazon on the other hand, its very hard to criticize, they are very organized, very well built, their system works smooth, i hardly hear any one complain about Amazon, but I heard a lot complain about Apple.

    I believe in Amazon, Apple got arrogant

  • CharliK

    Typical John making assumptions. Including the assumption that Amazon would ever desire to have Apple support this tech or that they would have an issue with giving Apple a share of anything. After all, if they are giving up 30% to someone who do they care if it is Apple, Borders, Best Buy who whatever other company is competing with their catalog of goods.

  • CharliK

    Apple shares fell because of Japan, combined with a standard drop this time of year as the iphone rumors kick up. It typically bounces back large and likely will this time.

    As for ‘needs to take time’ no Apple doesn’t. They could toss it all on the way the same as the rest. They choose to wait. Wait until LTE actually has enough coverage to be usable, wait until a majority of merchants support NFC and it’s not just gas stations and the major city transit systems (wait until there’s one standard if possible even). They also choose to work out the appropriate deals before they do something like Cloud Music rather than risk major contracts with pissing off the content owners. Wait until olks start suing because they didn’t give Amazon permission for this. Amazon won’t look so clever then. Customers will get pissed. Or when it turns out that Amazon’s servers weren’t ready for this and everything starts crashing. Wall Street and the Customers aren’t so ‘excited’ then

    Aesop’s the Tortoise and the Hare is true in Tech as well.

    Oh and if $330 a share makes you weep, Amazon’s $184 might be making you brawl.

  • CharliK

    Given the popularity of the iphone and ipad it seems rather stupid that Amazon didn’t launch with iOS support. And the argument that Amazon didn’t want to tip their hand doesn’t really work cause they could have submitted the app the same day they announced the service. And it’s not like Apple doesn’t allow competing services. After all, they approved the Kindle app.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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