Many iPhone fans don’t like waiting two years for major refreshes, but it could be about to get a lot worse. According to one report, Apple is switching its big upgrades to a three-year cycle, which is why this year’s iPhone 7 will look just like its predecessors.
China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. The company is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.
China’s PayPal: Alipay (Zhifubao)
App name: Alipay (Zhifubao) What it is: Almost-universal Paypal Owned by: Alibaba Group and its founder Jack Ma What it does: Allows you to pay for anything, anywhere. Special sauce: No transaction fees and an escrow service to verify goods before you pay
SHANGHAI CITY, China — The common question when conducting any kind of financial transaction in China is: “Cash or Zhifubao?” I have used Alipay in a wide variety of settings — paying for products online or meals at restaurants, sending rent money to my landlord, or squaring up with a taxi driver. It was easy to set up, after I spent all of 15 minutes creating a Chinese bank account at my local branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
This week, on The CultCast: Macbook Pro’s about to get its biggest refresh ever; Apple’s plans to rival Amazon’s Echo; more great stories from the Cult of Mac; the state of gaming in OS X, iOS, and tvOS; Apple gets serious about iCar charging stations; and we set aside our agendas to discuss YOUR topics in an all-new As You Wish.
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