Thursday, October 29, 2015

Samsung, Google And Apple To Face Competition From Chase Pay

JP Morgan Chase is set to launch its very own smartphone payment method, according to a recent statement from the company. This move will put JP Morgan Chase in direct competition with rival services from big name companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung.

Known as Chase Pay, this payment method will be based on CurrentC, which is a retailer-led mobile payment system. What's interesting is that the tech minds of the world have largely dismissed CurrentC for its reliance on barcodes as opposed to NFC (near-field communications) technology, which is seen as more sophisticated and which is also the technology that Apple, Google, and Samsung have all adopted.

The app displays a barcode on the customer's smartphone screen that the retailer then scans in order to complete the payment. In addition to that, there is also a version that works online. Sure the barcode method may not be super fancy and cool like the tap payment NFC system though it does mean that Chase Pay will be more compatible with a far larger number of smartphones. Users that have phones that are incompatible with  other payment systems could discover that their phones work with Chase Pay just fine.

The Chase Pay platform will debut to Chase Bank's credit, debit, and pre-paid card account holders, which now number 94 million, and will also tie into any of their retailer loyalty cards. This pairing is really good for CurrentC as Chase is one of the largest bank and card issuers in the country. This will also ensure that CurrentC will see a huge boost in the market while also ensuring that Chase Pay is accepted at a large number of major retailers.

CurrentC is currently being developed by Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), which is a consortium of some of the largest retailers in the United States, including Wal-Mart, Target, Shell, Exxon, CVS, Dunkin Donuts, and Sears. One of the major driving forces behind this development was the desire of retailers to prevent companies like Apple and Google from gaining a look at their businesses and the purchases of their customers. In addition to that, CurrentC also doesn't impose transaction fees.

CurrentC has yet to officially launch, which means that Chase Pay will be unable to launch until CurrentC does. Trials of the technology are currently taking place though that doesn't really offer a solid time frame on when this technology will get in the hands of consumers. The only date we have to go off of is one that JP Morgan Chase announced, which was mid-2016.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Is An Apple-HTC Lawsuit Battle Headed Our Way?

I feel like it has been far too long since a major smartphone manufacturer accused another one of stealing or cheating. Thankfully, HTC has given me my fix on smartphone finger pointing. According to Want China Times President of HTC North Asia Jack Tong reacted to suggestions in a lot of reviews that his company's new HTC One A9 bears remarkable similarity to the iPhone 6. In fact, there have actually been reviews on the HTC One A9 calling it an iPhone clone.

Apparently these reviews hurt Tong's feelings as he was quoted saying, "We're not copying. We made a unibody metal-clad phone in 2013." Well, there you have it. HTC made one in 2013 so Apple must be the one copying, right? "It's Apple that copies us in terms of the antenna design on the back," Tong added.

These types of copying battles have been going on for years, the most famous of which was when Apple and Samsung went back and forth in a court accusing the other. Apple was doing rather well, but the whole thing is still going on. So does this mean that another legal battle will be popping up? Will Apple sue HTC or will HTC sue Apple? Neither company has commented on anything yet, though.

Apple and HTC both agreed on a 10-year licensing deal nearly three years ago and both companies decided to stop all patent litigation. However, lawyers can find reasons to break deals if things like emotions or money get in the way.

HTC has made some pretty nice looking smartphones for some time though the marketing that goes along with these phones has been particularly terrible. Sure they have ads that star big-name Hollywood celebrities like Gary Oldman and Robert Downey Jr. though neither of those ads are memorable or captivating. Which is probably why you are just as shocked as I am to hear that both Gary Oldman and Robert Downey Jr. have been in HTC smartphone commercials.

With the recent slew of smartphones that was released, one thing has become evident. They are all pretty much the same in both look and functionality. I mean the only device that offers anything remotely different is the Galaxy S6 Edge+. It is still unclear how this whole process will turn out, though if it is anything like the Apple vs. Samsung case, at least it will be entertaining!

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