Apple released its initial sales figures for the iPhone 5: “more than 5 million.” Citing supply constraints the company said it has sold out of its initial batch of devices. But in a way what’s more interesting and significant are the iOS 6 numbers the company put out.
Apple said there were now 100 million people using iOS 6 around the world. I had conservatively speculated that there were maybe 15 million iOS 6 devices before the weekend. But that was way off — way off.
What this means is that there are now 100 million Passbook-enabled devices in the market. That makes Apple — provided it can remedy the “cannot connect” problem and educate consumers about Passbook — the leading mobile wallet provider out of the gate. Apple doesn’t have to carry the full burden of education; companies and retailers will do some of that.
The implications of the 100 million installs of iOS 6 and Passbook are huge for consumers, brands, retailers and potentially even SMBs. Passbook could lay the foundation for mobile wallet usage globally by educating consumers about the benefits of mobile wallets and help make them more comfortable with the idea.
Currently there’s only limited interest in the US in mobile payments and mobile wallets. Consumers, for the most part, have yet to see tangible benefits from mobile wallets and so remain unconvinced or ignorant about them. Passbook is in an almost unique position to change that.