As we reported yesterday, Apple’s planning something absolutely huge at its retail stores across the country this weekend, possibly to celebrate their 10th Apple Store anniversary. But what could it be? A new product or service? Discounts or goodie bags?
Possibly, but another rumor’s starting to form: Apple is prepping for the September launch of the next iPhone by getting their retail stores equipped to take NFC payments.
Boy Genius Report has gotten word that one of the big things Apple might be rolling out on May 22nd is NFC gear being hooked up.
There aren’t many details, and those details only debatably lead down the path of NFC. Apparently, new tables are being installed in stores that have different wiring than Apple’s standard tables. Additionally, Apple’s point-of-sales devices (read: Apple’s iPod Touch based payment terminals used by roving staff to ring you up away from the register) recently went offline for maintenance for an entire day.
Still, if Apple — contrary to the report yesterday — does intend to install near-field communication chips into the next iPhone, enabling it to work as a credit card, it makes sense that Apple would want to have all of its stores capable of taking an iPhone as a form of payment. They need to show both customers and other retailers that using your iPhone as a credit card is a feasible way to shop.
For that to happen, though, Apple would need to be prepared months ahead of time, and get all of the systems’ kinks worked out well before the next iPhone’s rumored September release.
What do you think? Is Apple just installing NFC in its stores, or is there more coming for Apple’s 10th Retail Anniversary besides? Let us know in the comments.