The paradox: Perpetual 'loser' Apple somehow keeps winning


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As Apple Pay rolled out last week, making your checkout experience that much easier at several retailers, some retailers reacted by disabling the feature because it runs against their business interests.

Jim Edwards knows exactly how to sum this up:

“Wal-Mart Is At War Against Apple Over The New iPhone Payments System—And Apple Is Losing” (indirect link and tip o’ the antlers to @_HairForceOne)

Just another day at the Apple doom mines over at Business Insider.

American retailers appear to have gone to war against Apple’s new mobile payments system, Apple Pay, and Apple is losing.

Well, sure. Have they ever won anything ever? Apple is always losing in Jim Edwards’s world. It’s actually a bit of a paradox because they also went out of business in his world five years ago. But they’re still losing.

Do not look directly into the paradox as it will drive you mad.

Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Rite Aid, and CVS have all said they want nothing to do with the system (or Google Wallet, for that matter). The latter pair tried it and then disabled it over the weekend.

Oh. Oh! You mean they’re actually at war with the credit card companies and are disabling Apple Pay because it scares the living crap out of them because, for the first time, people are finally asking to use those NFC scanners they put in. Can’t have that.

You know what people would love instead of a system that’s easy to use and protects their information? A designed-by-committee atrocity that tracks all your information and won’t be available until next year. That’s CurrentC, the system designed by a mustache-twirling group of retailers.

Not that the credit card companies don’t twirl their mustaches as well. It’s mustache-twirling all the way around. But here’s Rich Mogull on CurrentC:

Without hardware security support, I don’t see any way CurrentC can be as secure as Apple Pay or some other NFC systems. And some of the retailers behind CurrentC don’t have the best security reputations.

Worse, usability of CurrentC is a mess, thanks to the need to pull out your phone, open an app, and scan a QR code. It takes more effort than using cash or a credit card.

Sounds awesome. Is there some sort of dance or secret handshake involved, too? “TRANSACTION FAILED. PLEASE PLIÉ AGAIN FOR VERIFICATION.”

Generally the Macalope would side with retailers in a fight with credit card companies, but when they’re trying to push a lousy, insecure system that collects more personal data, that’s hard to do.

Back to Edwards.

The retailers don’t want Apple to monopolize a system that will produce a lot of valuable customer data.

Note Edwards’s sleight of hand here. The system could produce a lot of valuable customer data, but Apple doesn’t store what the retailers want because Apple prefers to keep your information protected. CurrentC not only requires you to hand over your checking account information and Social Security number, it tracks your purchase data and health information. And all that information gets stored by the retailers. Don’t worry, it’s not like they’ve had any gigantic security breaches lately.

Try as he might, even Edwards can’t pretend that this is nothing but Apple doom.

...even though it looks as if the Apple Pay launch is in tatters...

“So successful it has retailers terrified” = “tatters.” shouldn’t assume that Apple has lost the war.

They’re just losing. Like they do all the time.

Again, do not look directly into the paradox.

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