The Giant of M-commerce: Mobile Commerce
If mobile technology is the wave of the future (and few would doubt that it is) then Apple may be the pioneer, clearing the way for new settlers and basically setting the standard for Mobile commerce in the years to come. In their giant, all powerful way, Apple has been micromanaging their content for years. The only allow developers that they have approved to create apps and keep a short leash on what kind of content they will allow into iTunes.
Of course, they don’t control every bit of content, after all-the creative community still has a say in what goes into iTunes. The Beatles are a great example of artists not wanting to enter the world of digital download. For many artists, the problem is one of creativity; they don’t want their creative works chopped up and sold for 99 cents each when the music was created to work together with the other tracks on the album, which is nearly extinct as those of us old enough to remember vinyl experienced it. Gone are the days of listening to music the way the artists and producers created it. Now, you can shuffle your iPod and be bounced from classic rock to classical music, taking a trip that took hundreds of years to evolve with the shake of your electronic device. But, for all its controlling, Apple is doing a lot the right way.
They are generating billions of dollars a year with their M-commerce megalith, iTunes and they are just scratching the surface of what is going to be available to the consumer. It seems that people’s appetites for apps is bottomless and iTunes provides the all you can eat smorgasbord.
Beyond the app, Apple is developing a mobile commerce infrastructure that is likely to change the whole landscape of how we buy things and where we buy them. If you’ve been to an Apple store lately you know how popular their products are by the crowds that are packing the stores. If you’ve made a purchase, you may have noticed something interesting-your customer service associate rings up the purchase on an iPhone! Yes, Apple has replaced the whole cash register concept with something very different. Wherever you are in the store, there is an associate who can complete your purchase from their handheld device-you simply pick up your receipt at the checkout counter. The associate is able to do everything from get your all important zip code information (for customer tracking) to scanning your credit card for payment.
Apple is working on patented technology that will push the M-commerce concept into amazing new territory. In the same way that the company has driven the creativity of the market when it comes to portable entertainment, they are moving into mobile commerce in a big way and working on ways to make shopping a complete and personalized experience for their customers. The future of mobile commerce looks amazing, indeed, and only time will tell exactly how far the minds at Apple can take it.
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