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Apple reportedly inks deal with American Express for 'iPhone 6' payment system

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 
Credit card giant American Express is apparently onboard with Apple's forthcoming mobile payment system, expected to be a part of the company's next-generation iPhone set to be unveiled at a Sept. 9 media event.

Touch ID


Word of the Buffalo, New York, financial giant's apparent partnership with Apple was first reported on Sunday by Re/code, which reaffirmed that the payment system is expected to be tied to the forthcoming "iPhone 6." The so-called e-wallet system would allow users to use their handset to make payments at retail outfits, negating the need for a physical credit card.

Sunday's report said that AmEx is "one of several partners" that the company will need to sign up, but didn't indicate who else might be onboard. Also unknown is which retailers might support Apple's system, which is expected to rely on a secure enclave inside the "iPhone 6."

Another expected key component is a near-field communications chip, rumored to appear for the first time ever in Apple's 2014 iPhone models. The new handset is rumored to come in screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches, and recent hardware leaks have supported expectations that an NXP-made NFC chip will be a part of the phone.

Apple has also filed for patents that describe mobile payment systems utilizing NFC RFID technology. But to date, the company has relied on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for short-range wireless functions, most notably with the company's proprietary combination of the two, dubbed iBeacon.

Rumors of NFC functionality in a future iPhone have persisted for years, and seem to appear leading up to just about every new handset launch. And though there have been a multitude of NFC-capable smartphones on the market for years, has never been an Apple product with NFC functionality.

One rumor that surfaced this summer claimed that Apple was accelerating work on a mobile payments system that could be ready by this fall, launching as part of the "iPhone 6." That report claimed that Apple was in talks with partner companies, including Visa, in an effort to debut its own e-wallet platform.
post #2 of 95
I heard from good sources, that Mastercard is on board as well. Mr. Gary Flood, MasterCard's President of Global Products and Solutions, as well as Ed Maclaughlin, will both probably be attending the event.
post #3 of 95
Now if only the the State and local governments would accept a scanned copy of my drivers license- I would no longer need my wallet.
post #4 of 95

Breaking: the 5.5 inch iPhone will reportedly have a bigger and better NFC chip, topped with gold, sapphire, frankincense and myrrh.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #5 of 95
I doubt they'd only be linked with Amex. They'd have to have Visa as well in tow for sure. Plus MC.

The problem is unless they're 'AirDropping' these NFC receptacles at all these businesses on launch day then how prolific will this payments rollout be? I know in my normal day-to-day with all the restaurants/shops/etc. I go to I don't see them.
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post #6 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcstarheel View Post

I doubt they'd only be linked with Amex. They'd have to have Visa as well in tow for sure. Plus MC.

MasterCard's got a deal with Apple as well! Don't know about Visa though, but maybe...
post #7 of 95

"Never leave home without it."

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post #8 of 95

Wait for the Fandroid trolls to say after the iPhone 6 launch that Apple didn't invent NFC and that NFC has been found on some Android phones for years now.

 

How come NFC hasn't taken off yet, with all of the billions of Android activations? You'd figure that it would be all over the place by now.

 

Oh, that's right. Android users are totally insignificant, no matter what their reported numbers might be. 

 

As usual, it will take Apple to come along and get it right. Apple and Apple users will make this a standard. 

 

Where Android fails, Apple succeeds.

 

If you owned a store, would you be willing to install something that was only used by Android users? A group of people that is statistically known for being cheap? That sounds like bad business. But when Apple rolls out their new payment system, then just watch how most of the big retailers will be getting on board with this.

post #9 of 95

I hope it's happening, I really do. The US credit card infrastructure has relied on mag stripe readers for too long, and card skimmers are rampant at unattended readers like gas pumps. Smartchip credit cards is something the US credit card industry could have moved to years ago (like Europe), but alas, they waited, and along comes Apple taking its sweet time… Hopefully it will offer a more secure payment option, if not also more convenient.

But I agree that someone like Square needs to offer low-cost chip readers so small business to make this change happen.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #10 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

If you owned a store, would you be willing to install something that was only used by Android users? A group of people that is statistically known for being cheap? That sounds like bad business. But when Apple rolls out their new payment system, then just watch how most of the big retailers will be getting on board with this.

 

The cheap part wouldn't matter to me as much as the malware threat.

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post #11 of 95

My theory: Apple builds a BT LE/NFC fob that's given away for free to all retailers that want to be an "iTunes Pay" partner, ala the Square Reader. 

 

"Create a free iTunes Retailer account, connect it to your merchant account, and start accepting payments from customers using the new iPhone Pro with Touch ID. No swipes, no hassle, no credit card processing fees. Like iTunes, we batch-process all credit card transactions, so that you're left fee-free!" 

 

Plausible? 

post #12 of 95
Excellent news, as Amex is truly a terrific organization.

The only slight problem could be that Amex has much lower acceptance by establishments in Asia and Europe, as well as with smaller retailers in the US (given their higher merchant rates compared to MasterCard and Visa).

That said, I have no doubt that the others will be signing on pretty soon if Amex is on board.
post #13 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

 

The cheap part wouldn't matter to me as much as the malware threat.

 

True, good point!

 

To be honest, I don't see how anybody who has more than $10 in their bank account would ever risk using any kind of Android phone.

post #14 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

My theory: Apple builds a BT LE/NFC fob that's given away for free to all retailers that want to be an "iTunes Pay" partner, ala the Square Reader. 

"Create a free iTunes Retailer account, connect it to your merchant account, and start accepting payments from customers using the new iPhone Pro with Touch ID. No swipes, no hassle, no credit card processing fees. Like iTunes, we batch-process all credit card transactions, so that you're left fee-free!" 

Plausible? 
Definitely not plausible. No credit card fees? How will CC companies make money? Even with Square you pay 2.75%.

I think part of your theory will work, but there will most definitely be fees.
post #15 of 95
Quote:
Definitely not plausible. No credit card fees? How will CC companies make money? Even with Square you pay 2.75%.

I think part of your theory will work, but there will most definitely be fees.

What if Apple covers the fees, like they do when one buys content from the iTunes Store?

As you state, CC companies will want their cut, but I'm sure Apple can sweeten the pot, while also throwing in some fraud-prevention bullet points in their presentation to the card companies. I think the chip-and-PIN movement is finally starting to take hold in the US, and this (Touch ID) might be a good way to move the needle even further.

[In related future news: California Institutes Mandatory 50-year Jail Sentence for Criminals Who Peddle Black Market Thumbs Used in Touch ID Scams.]
Edited by macinthe408 - 8/31/14 at 11:49am
post #16 of 95
How will Apple revolutionize contactless payments? I believe there may be three outstanding issues that Apple may be able to resolve.

One of the greatest failings is the requirement to have the credit card or device in hand.

Ubiquity of payment terminals may be another concern.

Security is an area of concern for many. I believe competitors will attempt to persuade the public to believe the Apple solution is not secure.
post #17 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Excellent news, as Amex is truly a terrific organization.

The only slight problem could be that Amex has much lower acceptance by establishments in Asia and Europe, as well as with smaller retailers in the US (given their higher merchant rates compared to MasterCard and Visa).

That said, I have no doubt that the others will be signing on pretty soon if Amex is on board.

 

Hmm... Maybe I'll load up on more AXP on Tuesday. It's done very well for me so far.

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post #18 of 95
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Originally Posted by guiguihip View Post


MasterCard's got a deal with Apple as well! Don't know about Visa though, but maybe...

 

According to The Information, Apple has a deal with Visa as well.

 

https://www.theinformation.com/Apple-Mobile-Wallet-Talks-Heat-Up

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post #19 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

How will Apple revolutionize contactless payments? I believe there may be three outstanding issues that Apple may be able to resolve.

One of the greatest failings is the requirement to have the credit card or device in hand.

Ubiquity of payment terminals may be another concern.

Security is an area of concern for many. I believe competitors will attempt to persuade the public to believe the Apple solution is not secure.

 

Apple's security on the newer phones is some of the most sophisticated available. Their fingerprint/thumb print scanner is virtually unbeatable.

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post #20 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

What if Apple covers the fees, like they do when one buys content from the iTunes Store?

What are you talking about? The credit card merchant transaction fees are part of Apple's cost of doing business, the same with almost every other business that accepts credit cards. Same with employee salaries, the electricity to power the lights, rent, the toilet paper in the guest bathroom, whatever. Those costs are passed onto the customer.

 

As far as I know, only a handful of businesses (e.g., some gas stations) have a separate up charge for consumers who pay by credit cards. If you buy a dozen eggs at the grocery store, it doesn't matter if you pay by credit card, personal check or cash, the price is the same.

 

If a merchant doesn't like the credit card fees, they can elect not to accept credit cards. A lot of dive bars in San Francisco are cash only. Most vendors at farmers markets are also cash only. Most auto dealerships will not let you buy a vehicle with a consumer charge card. The Internal Revenue Service does not accept credit cards. Et cetera ad nauseam.

 

Note that you can essentially pay cash at the iTunes Store, just buy an iTunes Card at the local grocery store and pay cash. Even better, buy a discounted iTunes Card (sometimes they can be found at 25-30% off) and use that to add funds to your account. That's actually the smart way of funding iTunes/App Store purchases since it's free money.

post #21 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundvision View Post


Definitely not plausible. No credit card fees? How will CC companies make money? Even with Square you pay 2.75%.

I think part of your theory will work, but there will most definitely be fees.

 

All Apple has to do is siphon off the credit card companies business and eventually offer their own Apple-branded credit card on the iPhone. Cut out the middlemen and you'll instantly have the worlds biggest credit company. American Express has a market cap of less than $94 billion.

 

Five years from now...

 

Tim:  "Since the Federal Reserve is in the process of being shut down, we've been selected by the US government to administer and manage the US currency system. We are replacing the dollar with our secure and stable commodity-backed iCoin. Only available on iPhone and iOS, as mandated by government decree. Hail Satan!... er, oops..."


Edited by SpamSandwich - 8/31/14 at 12:13pm

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post #22 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Apple's security on the newer phones is some of the most sophisticated available. Their fingerprint/thumb print scanner is virtually unbeatable.

I do not disagree. Apple is not only a leader in privacy but has in the last few years become a leader in security. This will not prevent competitors from attempting to derail Apple using any method they can.
post #23 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


Hmm... Maybe I'll load up on more AXP on Tuesday. It's done very well for me so far.

Heh heh. I was thinking the same thing. It's the only financial services firm in my (self-created, i.e, not mutual fund, 401k etc) portfolio.
post #24 of 95

I just have two questions for Apple if they release a iPhone payment system.

 

2) How does it prevent hackers from stealing my credit card number and personal info.

 

3) Will I still be able to take advantage of all the benefits offered by my credit card such as cashback, warranty protection, free rental insurance, and many others.

post #25 of 95
Two or three years ago around the time NFC chips were pointlessly being added to various vendor's handsets running Android, with an MC or Visa executive stated that the only way such payments to take off is for Apple to back it.
Edited by SolipsismX - 8/31/14 at 12:59pm

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post #26 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

All Apple has to do is siphon off the credit card companies business and eventually offer their own Apple-branded credit card on the iPhone. Cut out the middlemen and you'll instantly have the worlds biggest credit company. American Express has a market cap of less than $94 billion.

Five years from now...

Tim:  "Since the Federal Reserve is in the process of being shut down, we've been selected by the US government to administer and manage the US currency system. We are replacing the dollar with our secure and stable commodity-backed iCoin. Only available on iPhone and iOS, as mandated by government decree. Hail Satan!... er, oops..."

I'm travelling now, but I think the this phase is not about credit card COMPANIES but CARD PAYMENT PROCESSORS (the guys that put the phone line and the swipe device in the retailer location)

Apple disintermediates them. Internet and secure enclave. And one time transactions. Bidirectional trust. End to end tokenization. PCI the way it should be done.


Then the CC companies

Then... The banksters.

More later
post #27 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post
 

I just have two questions for Apple if they release a iPhone payment system.

 

2) How does it prevent hackers from stealing my credit card number and personal info.

 

As Macinthe408 said above, the combination of BTLE+NFC would create a much more robust secure connection than just NFC (which is probably why NFC by itself hasn't taken off in the US). So the iPhone transaction could be "chip+TouchID".

post #28 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

If you owned a store, would you be willing to install something that was only used by Android users? A group of people that is statistically known for being cheap? That sounds like bad business. But when Apple rolls out their new payment system, then just watch how most of the big retailers will be getting on board with this.

 

Even the Google barge?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #29 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post

I just have two questions for Apple if they release a iPhone payment system.

2) How does it prevent hackers from stealing my credit card number and personal info.

3) Will I still be able to take advantage of all the benefits offered by my credit card such as cashback, warranty protection, free rental insurance, and many others.

Guessing. But my guess is that hi security mode is bidirectional trust with retailers and consumers and transactions fully tokenized. Your credit card info name etc. isn't transmitted in the clear, and likely tokenized ( think one time transaction. A new number is used for each transaction, and can't be reused, ever)

It doesn't prevent a hacker from stealing the info from your bank, but it reduces it's exposure in untrusted (everywhere else) places

Yes. At the back end your bank(the issuer of the card) still sees you executing transactions, so your miles etc still accumulate). It just sees tokens instead of cc numbers. Which are encrypted in the banks public key, and the credit card holders private key. My guess is apple signs both keys and stores them in the enclave
post #30 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Two or three years ago around the time NFC chips were pointlessly being added to various vendor's handsets running Android, with an MC or Visa executive stated that the only way such payments to take off is for Apple to back it.

 

The purpose of the NFC chips on elite spec Android phones isn't for payment, but for bragging rights. The chips don't even have to work. It's enough to show up on a specs sheet.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #31 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
 

 

Even the Google barge?

 

The Google barge doesnt exist anymore, its been sold for scrap, after fullfilling its sole mission of creating thousands of "OMG WHAT IS INSIDE THIS INNOVATIVE GOOGLE BARGE" hype articles on tech blogs. Another one of Google's ill thought out "we dont know where the **** we're going with this, but lets do it anyway" initiatives created to keep their name in the news. 

post #32 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
 

 

Even the Google barge?

 

What Google barge?

 

The barge has been sold and the four-story structure will be dismantled, along with Portland’s hope for a new claim to fame.

post #33 of 95
Is iBeacon proprietary?

Apple already have a high-volume B2C transaction service - the App Store.
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post #34 of 95
Code:
Quote:
Originally Posted by formosa View Post

As Macinthe408 said above, the combination of BTLE+NFC would create a much more robust secure connection than just NFC (which is probably why NFC by itself hasn't taken off in the US). So the iPhone transaction could be "chip+TouchID".

The connection isn't the issue. It's been the dumb card. Replace the card with an encryption engine and even if the transaction was tapped, they will see some of the transaction (amount datE time stuff) , but not the token that validates the payor to the bank)


The 'key' will be the private encryption key security and the initial instantiation of cardholder to bank. Secure enclave fixes that pretty well on the phone side. Apple can act as a trusted agent (it has a secret key inside the phone) and establish 3 way trust. Then it's just the private key security of the approval agent, which will likely be even stronger than their ssl key security.

And then if tokenizing, the entire transaction will be 'one-time'. If hacked, the information in transit would only allow a replay attack in that you couldn't change the retailer or the amount or the time of the transaction.

Currently, the weakest link is the retailer to to payment card processor to the bank. Having your phone thru encrypted side channel talking directly to the card processor(or bank) greatly reduces the attack space.
post #35 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

What if Apple covers the fees, like they do when one buys content from the iTunes Store?

Apple takes 30% of the purchase price on the online stores, WSJ says that's true for music:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB121987440206377643

"Apple keeps about 30% of the price of each music sale, whether it's a 99-cent track or a $10 album, according to people in the music industry. Apple has said it makes little profit from iTunes because of the costs of running the online store."

They take a percentage however much it is, which is not something they can do when people buy something from a 3rd party store. Apple paying the fees won't happen unless they've agreed a percentage fee with people implementing the system first.

Partnering with VISA and supporting debit card payments covers a lot of transactions without fees. There's also the possibility that they handle credit themselves. They already do this on their own products. They can do part payments on a debit card with the rest on credit and take regular future payments with interest through notifications and the fingerprint authentication.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich 
Tim: "Since the Federal Reserve is in the process of being shut down, we've been selected by the US government to administer and manage the US currency system. We are replacing the dollar with our secure and stable commodity-backed iCoin. Only available on iPhone and iOS, as mandated by government decree. Hail Satan!... er, oops..."

Weren't you against crypto-currency controlled by a central authority that is answerable to a country's government?
post #36 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

The connection isn't the issue. It's been the dumb card. Replace the card with an encryption engine and even if the transaction was tapped, they will see some of the transaction (amount datE time stuff) , but not the token that validates the payor to the bank)

The 'key' will be the private encryption key security and the initial instantiation of cardholder to bank. Secure enclave fixes that pretty well on the phone side. Apple can act as a trusted agent (it has a secret key inside the phone) and establish 3 way trust. Then it's just the private key security of the approval agent, which will likely be even stronger than their ssl key security.

And then if tokenizing, the entire transaction will be 'one-time'. If hacked, the information in transit would only allow a replay attack in that you couldn't change the retailer or the amount or the time of the transaction.

Currently, the weakest link is the retailer to to payment card processor to the bank. Having your phone thru encrypted side channel talking directly to the card processor(or bank) greatly reduces the attack space.

 

Thanks, that's interesting info to me. Sounds like the physical card may be completely unnecessary by the method you describe.

post #37 of 95

NFC. NFC. NFC. The NFC mantra for the upcoming iPhone is similar to last year's NFC mantra for the iPhone 5S.

 

Apple showed that iBeacons was the direction it was going in and the NFC mantra faded away.

 

With with over 500 million-plus iPhone/iPad/iPhone Mini (my guess) users who are tied to iTunes and who can install iOS 8 the day the new operating system is released, I question why Apple would choose to drop ALL of those customers in favor of NFC instead of iBeacons.

 

People can point to NFC patents Apple has submitted and/or have been approved, but they can also point to similar iBeacons patents like these...

 

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2014/07/fcc-documents-surface-revealing-apples-ibeacon-testing.html#more

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2014/01/apple-patent-reveals-secure-iwallet-system-with-ibeacon.html

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/11/apple-files-four-trademark-applications-for-ibeacon-supporting-future-iwallet-services.html

 

And, here is something very interesting about iOS vs Android concerning iBeacons...

 

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2014/04/when-it-comes-to-ibeacon-readiness-ios-7-idevices-score-87-vs-android-devices-at-a-paltry-25.html#more

 

For some reason analysts are fixated on NFC just like there have been fixated on a full-fledged television and a smart watch! As has been stated above multiple times, Android has had NFC for years and the technology has gone nowhere fast. IF Apple were to adopt NFC, the technology would finally be legitimized due to Apple being able to do something Google has been unsuccessful at doing for three-four-five years now!

 

Samsung, the so-called TRUE Android competitor to Apple, tried to make NFC successful with NFC tags. That effort, like other Samsung efforts, went nowhere fast. No matter how much Android fans might protest this failure, all they have to do is read their Web sites to see how many articles have been written THIS year about NFC tags vs iBeacons. If NFC was so good why has every Android Wear manufacturer chosen NOT to include an NFC chip in their smart watches? If Apple included an NFC chip in its rumored smart watch (or wearable -- analysts have recently begun hedging their bets on this), every Android Wear manufacturer would start including an NFC chip in their smart watches as fast as possible.

 

With iBeacons technology being deployed all over the world for shopping, sports and more, the technology provides Apple a unique opportunity to implement an e-payments solution tied to iTunes that cannot be easily copied by Google and its Android partners. What makes this even more interesting is many Android smartphone users have iPads and because of this they may get to use Apple's e-payments solution.

 

No matter my thoughts on this subject, Apple may answer many questions on Tuesday, September 9, 2014.

post #38 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Weren't you against crypto-currency controlled by a central authority that is answerable to a country's government?

 

Yes, I am. That last bit was thrown in as a joke. Must everything have a "/s"?

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post #39 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcstarheel View Post

The problem is unless they're 'AirDropping' these NFC receptacles at all these businesses on launch day then how prolific will this payments rollout be? I know in my normal day-to-day with all the restaurants/shops/etc. I go to I don't see them.

 

Most of the payment terminals I see these days are already equipped with an RFID reader for use with the payment FOB's many card companies already offer, which I believe is probably the same payment technology that any NFC chip in the phone would mimic.  So I doubt they would need to provide new hardware to any retailer.  That's just a guess, however - I do nit have concrete information to back it up.

post #40 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Excellent news, as Amex is truly a terrific organization.

The only slight problem could be that Amex has much lower acceptance by establishments in Asia and Europe, as well as with smaller retailers in the US (given their higher merchant rates compared to MasterCard and Visa).

That said, I have no doubt that the others will be signing on pretty soon if Amex is on board.

 

I have to say, I think the idea that Amex has lower acceptance rates, at least in the US, is a little overblown.  I use an Amex BCE for almost every purchase I make (cash back on all spending is pretty great), and in two years of doing so I've had exactly one establishment tell me they didn't take it.  I haven't tried in Europe or Asia, however, so perhaps it is a bigger issue there.

 

All that said, I think it unlikely that Apple would be unable to get a partnership with Visa and / or Mastercard.  It seems to me that pretty much any of the major providers would be lining up to partner with Apple.  It wouldn't be surprised to see all of them show up as partners if this indeed is unveiled on the 9th.

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