What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

Apple offers new way to access your wallet with your phone

Apple unveiled its new products -- a larger iPhone, as well as the Apple Watch and a new pay system -- that boast advances for phone, watch and wallet. Gwen Ifill interviews John Simons of the Associated Press for a look at the new products and what they signal about current consumer technology.

Read the Full Transcript

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Finally tonight: The eyes of the tech world turned once again today to Cupertino, California, where, with all the hype that has come to mark its periodic product upgrades, Apple unveiled the latest iPhone.

    But carrying on telephone conversations is probably its least interesting feature. The device is a watch, a wallet and, more than ever, a walking, talking computer. But is the iPhone 6 the future happening now, or is it paving the way to the end of privacy?

    John Simons, media and technology editor for the Associated Press, covered the latest rollout. And he joins us now.

    John, of all the whiz-bang elements that were rolled out today, watch, wallet, the size of the iPhone, the battery life, which was the most innovative to you?

  • JOHN SIMONS, Associated Press:

    I think what's most innovative is the payment system that Apple introduced into its iPhones today.

    It's called Apple Pay. And it allows people to go to brick-and-mortar stores and use their iPhones to pay for things at the register. Rather than pulling out a credit card, you can swipe your phone at the point of sale and make your purchase.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    In this age of…

  • JOHN SIMONS:

    Now it remains to be…

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Go ahead.

  • JOHN SIMONS:

    I'm sorry. Go ahead.

    It remains to be seen whether this will catch on. This technology was — it exists in other phones, and it's been around for a while. And it requires a lot of retailers to upgrade their systems in order for this to be widely used.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    In this age of data breaches and hacking, should we worry about the possibility that all of your information is — I hate keeping all my information in one wallet, let alone in one phone.

  • JOHN SIMONS:

    This is a concern.

    But what we have seen in a lot of our reporting and a lot of our look at research is that consumers, while they say that they're really interest and concerned about — about recent high-profile hacking events and concerned about NSA surveillance, consumers continue to use their — the digital technology, their phones, storing things in the cloud.

    They just are — they say they're concerned in polls, but continue to use their technology and continue to use the newest things. So there is a challenge to this NFC technology. That's near field communication. That's the name of the new technology that's in the iPhone.

    But it's — you know, people will use this. It is a privacy concern, though.

  • JOHN SIMONS:

    Apple will say that this is more secure than using a credit card, but only slightly more secure, in that the person at the register doesn't see your card number.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    You know, we have heard for years and years in these Apple announcements of things getting smaller, thinner, lighter. This seems to be getting bigger. Why is it going in the opposite direction?

  • JOHN SIMONS:

    Yes.

    Well, consumers are basically — are sort of commanding this direction in the marketplace. Consumers are basically showing that they want bigger screens. Apple for a while, for the last two years, if you walk into any store, a Best Buy, a retail telecommunications store, you will notice that the iPhone was the — one of the smallest smartphones in the store.

    And that's — that's just because a lot of other companies, HTC, Samsung, noticed that consumers want a slightly bigger screen. And Apple is — you know, for a while, they were insistent that this was the size of the iPhone. But they came around, I think, and they want to — they want to challenge Samsung, which is the number one — the world's number one smartphone seller now.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Well, you know, Androids that — like Samsung produces, have gotten very popular. Apple still makes a tremendous amount of money obviously on these new devices.

  • JOHN SIMONS:

    Absolutely.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Are they the leader in innovation? Are they the leader in finding out what the people want?

  • JOHN SIMONS:

    Well, you know, Apple — what's interesting about today's developments with Apple is that the company has historically entered markets late.

    They have surveyed the landscape. They have historically entered markets late. They were not the first producer of a digital music player. They were not the first smartphone company. They were not the first company to produce a tablet.

    But when they enter a market, they generally make a big splash, and they end up sort of really competing and competing well, and making a statement. And the question is, can Apple continue to rely on that, on its ability to do that, with these three major advancements that were introduced today, the iPhone, the Apple Watch, and Apple Pay?

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Boy, and we didn't even get to talking about the Apple Watch, because — mostly because I can't figure out why I would need one, but I will let you try it first and ask you all about it next time.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • JOHN SIMONS:

    OK.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    John Simons of the Associated Press, thanks a lot.

Listen to this Segment

The Latest