As Last 100 points out the recent announcement by Apple that the next version of the iPhone software, 3.0, will enable In App purchasing will be a huge boon for micropayments.
This is a huge step in the evolution of the iPhone platform towards a fully-fledged ecosystem. I also anticipate that it will bring about a boost in virtual goods.
Gizmodo thinks this is bad news, but meh, what do they know!
Apple has a tried and tested approach of creating complete, yet simple ecosystems and the one it has developed for the iPhone is testament to this genius.
However, ecosystems need to evolve or they devolve to the lowest common denominator. Much has already been said about the “commoditisation” of apps to very basic one offs with gimmick appeal.
Allowing for a deeper level of engagement within an app is key to this “appolution”. And one of the most important steps forward in achieving this in my view is to open the spigot for micropayments.
Om Malik has also called for this:
I would be spending a lot more if Apple extended the API to allow for the ability to transact within apps.” Nothing like buying a song, an application or a ringtone with a simple click, only to be billed in a batch, later. Such buying habits are the reason why we believe Apple’s iPhone could prove to be an ideal micropayments platform.
Back in August I posted a chart from Flickr showing the most popular cameraphones being used to post photos. It’s instructive to compare these charts again some four months later. The iPhone has torn open a huge chunk of white space from other cameraphones. It will, however, be interesting to see how the slight dip in the last week trends.