Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, says there is sufficient competition within the European wireless payment market. As far as he is concerned, the EU does not need to impose sanctions on Apple Pay in regard to antitrust regulation. In addition, the Apple top executive indicates that the tech giant will maintain its manufacturing plants in China but will also build new ones in India.
Apple chief Cook recently visited Dutch chip manufacturer NXP in Eindhoven. NXP supplies the NFC chip in iPhones and iPads for the tech conglomerate, enabling wireless payments with Apple Pay. It is the first time NXP can publicly announce its chips are used in Apple products.
The latter service is a major source of revenue for the tech group through the processing fees that Apple skims. Apple reportedly earned $21 billion (€19.8 billion) from its payment services in the past quarter. In Europe, the tech giant would order about $20 billion from European suppliers.
EU sees anti-competitive NFC chip
NXP’s iPhone NFC chip is only compatible with Apple Pay and does not work with other equivalent services. This is a thorn in the side of EU competition authorities, in addition to the dominance of Apple’s App Store for iOS. After the visit to NXP, Cook travelled on to Brussels for talks with the EU Competition Commissioner.
Tim Cook himself, speaking to NRC, believes that Apple Pay is not a problem for the European market. “If you look at Apple Pay, it’s certainly not the only way to make contactless payments. I’m travelling around Europe right now, and I see a lot of people making contactless payments with a debit card. The payments market is not closed at all – it’s a very competitive environment,” the Apple executive told the newspaper.
New functionality NXP’s NFC chip
During Tim Cook’s visit to NXP, NXP CEO Kurt Sievers also hinted at new functionality of the dedicated NFC chip for the tech giant. In addition to providing functionality for Apple Pay, the chip now also provides e-sim functionality in the new Apple devices. NFC functionality and an e-sim previously required two separate chips, but they are now integrated on a single chip. In iOS 17, the built-in NFC chip will further handle the Airdrop sharing function.
Manufacturing in China AND India
Speaking to NRC, Tim Cook also commented on how the tech giant deals with manufacturing its products in China. According to Apple’s top executive, China has always been and will continue to be very important to Apple. In part because of the great talent of developers and other experts located there.
At the same time, he indicates that Apple is also building factories in India. This is because the Indian market is developing very fast, and the tech giant needs to manufacture there as well. So, in his view, it is not a question of either China or India.