Tell that to my HTC Wizard / Cingular 8125 , released almost two years before the iPhone. The term "smartphone" was already in use before the iPhone also . I don't mean to downplay the arrival of the iPhone; it did a lot to advance the state of the art. But to say that these things just flat out didn't exist before the iPhone is grossly wrong.
For those who want to know, this is how history is rewritten.
I'd argue that the Blackberry was the first practical smartphone, released in: 2003. I remember being blown away by the Wizard before the iPhone was a rumor.
Edit: Changed year from 1999 to 2003, 1999 was the 2-way pager, 2003 was the first device that resembled a smartphone.
I had a Handspring Visor when they were first released (around 2000), and while it was just a PDA on its own, there was a phone module that slid into the back, making it a smartphone. After that, I had almost all of the Treo's starting around 2002, which (what I think) were the first all-in-one smartphones.
This is a bit odd. Safaricom is the bank here, inasmuch they track cash transfers and perform deposits and withdrawals. If you don't trust them, surely you wouldn't trust this system?
It's certainly an interesting state of affairs, because a one-layer payment system is quite different from e.g. American infrastructure where a consumer bank, payment method, and business bank are three different entities. But I wouldn't call it bank-free in the sense that, say, cryptocurrency advocates mean.
"and they did this without banks" = "and they did this without legacy incumbent banks (/financial institutions) that previously dominated traditional banking"
The reason it worked so well in Kenya was because everything didn't have to go through these legacy organizations. These legacy organizations dominate the market in each western country and face little competition from upstarts like Safaricom/Kopo Kopo due to high barriers of entry via regulations (regulations designed with the mega-banks with teams of lawyers in mind).
I mean why else was a poor country full of dumbphones able to implement a cashless society in a very short time frame while a rich country full of powerful smartphones can't even get chip-based debit cards implemented in a timely fashion?
The reason is none of us entrepreneurs, or the typical SV investors, are in a rush to do the same here is because of the huge risk involved. The risk being spending a huge amount of time/resources getting regulatory approval while simultaneously trying to build a customer base and keep the bills paid.
Even Google/Apple have only put a token investment in getting their payment systems adopted, they built the client platform and assumed other companies would jump up to push adoption to the platform ...if only there was some type of company that had relationships with both SME businesses doing consumer billing/retail AND had access to client bank accounts and credit cards...hmm they'd be ideal to do this. Maybe if the banking industry had competition they'd put this type of effort into their industry and we could have gotten rid of our wallets full of plastic cards years ago.
The Kenya system is expensive to use. Wikipedia says that fees take up 27% of the funds transferred. That's huge. Almost as high as the Apple Store. Most transactions are tiny, and the fees add up. This is far more expensive than credit cards.
The author discusses a W3C scheme where money transfer services become "dumb money pipes", with the browser in charge. The money transfer services lose the relationship with the customer; all they do is transfer the money in the background. This is a good idea which will be hated by money transfer services.
> All of this is fine if you’re buying an album from iTunes, but what if you’re buying a sofa from IKEA?
Except Apple (and I have to assume Google) very explicitly says that purchasing real-world goods is not required to go through their IAP and therefore Apple does not take a cut. This is why you can buy things using the Amazon app, or call a car using Lyft. Apple only demands a cut for digital goods.
Do I want that? Do I trust Rstrntr to get me a cab? Which one of my ride-share/taxi app will it use? Is part of my install process now telling every app I install which of the other apps on my phone I prefer to use for what?
Maybe that's just a bad example; maybe being able to print a photo from Flickr by sending it, along with a small payment, to Shutterfly would be cool. But I also don't want it constantly badgering me for permission, the way some apps tend to.
install another gps app, such as Here. now use any Google app, such as calendar, search app, etc and click any address. it will open gmaps. always.
this is specially evil for search and voice integration.
Google Maps has simple ride share integration, it shows you the available options and estimated prices.
But I'm guessing such an app would violate some Android or iPhone Terms and Conditions.
IAPs are for digital goods (movies, gold coins in games, etc) and that's where you face the steep Apple/Google tax. For physical goods you can process your own payments or use the above APIs. This is why you can't buy a Kindle book other than through Mobile Safari on iOS (digital good, Apple would charge Amazon 30%).
it's like the 10th thing in mobile payment space so why NPP differs and will win is not answered in comparison.
you can skip mostly rhetorical, revisionist smartphone history and references to Kenya/Australia.
It's basically an Australian national initiative backed by their banking system to build a whole new set of financial infrastructure.
The RBC has a paper with an overview of these types of systems that could be worth a read if you're curious:
> It’s getting hard to remember, but a decade ago — before iPhone — all our mobiles were dumbphones. We’d use them to call or text and perhaps play the occasional game of snake. But that’s it. That’s all we could do.
That's just simply unture.
Yes, on the one hand, it's a contextually small detail. Unfortunately, on the other hand, I can't help feel it calls into question the rest of the content since they couldn't be bothered inform them self on a basis point.
Edit: Blockquote fail
> writes for El Reg
Not quite the same thing, but would likely suffice for many use cases.
Probably as the first steps towards removing cash. Cash must be such a pain for a government, I'm surprised it is still around.
Unfortunately making cash digital is quite hard (you could argue that zcash and zcoin will solve this problem but I'm not so sure).
Can you elaborate on that? I'm curious what the points are.
The purpose was to make it harder to commit fraud, though it also makes it kinda difficult to legitimately bootstrap your ID when you're a minor (or if you're an immigrant).
Or a slacker: I somehow scraped up 100 points to get a passport, then didn't have photo ID to collect it from the post office. I had to point to the packet & say, I need to open the packet to be able to show you the photo ID you need to see before you can release the packet to me.
"If an Australian company writes an app that allows a purchase to be made — and paid for, via the app — it’s more likely than not that Apple or Google will appear, asking for a big slice of that sale."
"All of this is fine if you’re buying an album from iTunes, but what if you’re buying a sofa from IKEA?"
The above clearly implies that Apple / Google are going to charge merchants their 30% app sale cut on a couch, but that's ridiculous. Ikea can implement Apple Pay directly in their app and pay a 0% cut to Apple today, without requiring users to enter their CC details. Heck, you can even build that in to a website, you don't even need an app. I assume Google's mobile payment stuff has similar features, if not they'll catch up.
> The above clearly implies that Apple / Google are
> going to charge merchants their 30% app sale cut
> on a couch, but that's ridiculous.
Both companies continue to make moves to avoid being disintermediated from cash streams. Nobody wants to be the wire, everyone wants to be the service.
this article is a ridiculous eulogy to late stage capitalism. No banks because privacy laws make it too expensive? just start a bank but call it a mobile company and you can operate your bank without any regards for affordable fees and transaction privacy!
Is this a transcript of a speech?
Anyone know where to find the API Docs?
Believe me, the government would love to know every time cash changes hands. It is not about to illegalize digital transactions of that sort... it is far more likely to mandate them than forbid them.
... and that someone will soon be bankrupt due to fraud.