AWT News Update: May 12, 2017

As the week winds down, we have a short Friday podcast for you:

  • The going is tough in Germany, where negotiations with the country's banks to allow Apple Pay are "in a tough state"
  • The yellow and magenta networks may merge, making...red? (Hmmm, Verizon has a lock on red, doesn't it?)
  • One Wall Street analyst thinks the iPhone 8 will come in 128 and 256GB versions at price tags of $999 and $1,099 respectively

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Note to Apple News readers: you’ll need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for May 12th, 2017.

Most countries are eager to gain access to Apple Pay, but so far, Germany hasn’t been able to join the ranks of countries that let their citizens pay with Apple’s touchless-pay system. iPhone-ticker.de reported that negotiations with the country’s banks are “in a tough state”, with the main sticking point appearing to be the fees that Apple collects from each transaction. Those transactions cut into bank profits, which means that banks are often less than thrilled about giving Apple a piece of the payment pie. Apple Pay is now in 15 worldwide markets, with some early deals with card issuers and banks already up for renewal. Apple Pay has proven to be very popular, but the company may need to negotiate with banks for lower rates to avoid losing partners.

Soon there may be one less major carrier in the US if a proposed merger happens. Sprint, which is owned by Japan’s SoftBank, is in preliminary talks with T-Mobile US about merging. T-Mobile US is owned by Deutsche Telekom, and both SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son and Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges have told investors they’re interested in a deal. Apparently, financing of the deal is a no-brainer as well, with major financial firms already throwing their hats into the ring to participate.

Start saving up your pennies for the iPhone 8 if you’re in the market for a new phone this fall. Although the design of the phone isn’t public, those wacky Wall Street types are already taking guesses on how much the new phone will cost. Simona Jankowski of Goldman Sachs predicted that the new iPhone will come in 128GB and 256GB flavors, with the price tags being $999 and $1,099 respectively. Whether she was just parroting the rumor sites or really knows what’s happening, Jankowski also noted that the phone will have an OLED display, 3D sensors, and augmented reality technology. With the $1,000 minimum price tag, Jankowski is confident that Apple’s average selling price for iPhones will increase to $763, much more than most estimates that are putting that number at about $675. Based on that price estimate, the analyst raised her target price on Apple shares to $170.

That’s all for today; I’ll be back Monday afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.