Apple Inc. has acquired Mobeewave Inc., a startup with technology that could transform iPhones into mobile payment terminals.
Mobeewave’s technology lets shoppers tap their credit card or smartphone on another phone to process a payment. The system works with an app and doesn’t require hardware beyond a Near Field Communications, or NFC, chip, which iPhones have included since 2014.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant paid about $100 million for the startup. Mobeewave had dozens of employees, and Apple has retained the team, which continues to work out of Montreal.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” an Apple spokesman said.
Apple typically buys startups to turn their technology into features of its products. Apple added Apple Pay to the iPhone in 2014, allowing users to pay for physical goods with a tap in retail stores. Last year, it launched its own credit card, the Apple Card. Integrating Mobeewave could let anyone with an iPhone accept payments without additional hardware.
This would put Apple into more direct competition with Square Inc., a leading provider of payment hardware and software for smartphones and tablets.
On its website, Mobeewave shows a demonstration of a user typing in a transaction amount and then a customer tapping their credit card on the phone to process the payment on the device.
Samsung Electronics Co. partnered with Mobeewave last year to allow its phones to use the technology. Samsung’s venture arm is also an investor in the startup, which has raised more than $20 million, according to PitchBook.
The deal would be one of several for Apple this year. It recently acquired weather app Dark Sky and virtual-reality content broadcasting company NextVR. Other purchases include Voysis, Xnor.ai and Inductiv to improve Siri and artificial intelligence, and Fleetsmith for enterprise device management.
Apple purges more than 30,000 apps from its China store Apple Inc. removed more than 30,000 apps from its China store Saturday, with games making up 90% of the apps, Qimai Research Institute said.
The peak of the removals took place at 4:15 a.m. local time, when more than 2,000 apps were deleted, the Chinese research firm said. The bulk of the removals were done between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., it added.
About 179,000 game apps remained in the China store as of Saturday evening, of which about 160,000 were offered for free, it said.
Apple sent a reminder to game developers July 8 about its plans for the removal if they didn’t meet regulatory requirements for payments by the end of the month, Qimai said, citing an email from the iPhone maker.