Samsung announces Passbook, I mean Wallet

The Verge:

The company showed off a few features of the new app during its developer keynote, and it’s quite clear that Samsung took its design inspiration for Wallet from Apple’s Passbook (even down to the icon that Samsung used).

You know what? It’s not the fact that Samsung have been “inspired” by another feature of iOS that surprises me (it’s Samsung, people), it’s that the feature they chose to copy was Passbook1.

Passbook was Apple’s response to NFC. Whilst companies such as Samsung were touting how cool NFC was for payments and the like, Apple took a different approach that didn’t involve any additional hardware requirements and showed that Apple has almost no interest in NFC.

Samsung have been one of the biggest proponents of NFC and is the largest supplier of NFC-enabled phones in the world. Wallet completely undermines a major feature of NFC as a way to easily make payments or provide booking information. Whilst Passbook isn’t yet used as an alternative to forms of payment like contact-less credit card services, I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing these features in the future.

  1. Samsung weren’t even the first to market with a Passbook system on Android – PassWallet has been on the Play store for a while.