A chip that links an iPhone to your bank account could break mobile commerce wide open in the U.S. and could be Apple’s possible next category killer.
With the iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, and iMac, Apple is the most powerful tech company in the world. It’s also the No. 1 music retailer in the U.S. and among the top sellers of online movies, too.
What can it possibly do to top this? It might become an iBank.
That could happen thanks to a technology that lets you use your mobile phone to pay for stuff in bricks-and-mortar stores, not just online. The technology, called near-field communication, involves a microchip that can send and receive data across very short distances, about four inches. Instead of swiping a credit card, you hold your phone near a reader and let the data zip between the two devices.