Apple Inc. (AAPL) Pay Does Great and Competitor Stumbles

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October 30, 2014 3:36pm NASDAQ:QQQ NYSE:VTI

apple inc.Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) beat the market this week. In the five trading days ending on Wednesday,, Oct. 29, AAPL rose 4.21 percent, compared to 3.10 percent for the Dow and 3.79 percent for NASDAQ.

Apple Pay Is Popular with Customers

The Apple Pay mobile payment system debut was an instant success. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that during the first 72 hours, customers registered more than one million credit card numbers. Apple Pay is already being used more than all other contactless payment systems combined.

Data Breach for Apple Pay Competitor

Hackers got email addresses from users testing the CurrentC app, a potential rival to Apple Pay. CurrentC, which uses technology different from Apple Pay’s, won’t be released until 2015. Meanwhile, the breach could raise uncomfortable questions of security and privacy, especially because CurrentC, unlike Apple Pay, collects information on how and where the app is being used. CurrentC also links directly to users’ bank accounts, unlike Apple Pay, which uses temporary codes to process credit transactions.

CVS and Rite Aid Stop Accepting Apple Pay

CurrentC, the app whose email addresses were breached, is backed by a group of more than 50 retailers, collectively called “MCX,” which includes Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), CVS (NASDAQ: CVS), and Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD). Over the weekend, CVS and Rite Aid stopped accepting Apple Pay. The drug store companies said they needed more time to evaluate the technology, but a New York Times story said the companies that back CurrentC are contractually prohibited from accepting rival systems such as Apple Pay.

Most observers think that banning Apple Pay will backfire on the retailers, and customers have taken to Twitter to express their displeasure at the ban.

Apple and Alibaba.

On Monday, Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), the Chinese company that recently had the biggest IPO ever, said he was interested in a partnering with Apple to work on digital payments.

Apple Doing Great in China

Cantor Fitzgerald said that the number of 3G subscribers in China increased 33 percent from a year ago, and the 4G network should be rolling out aggressively there in 2015. Apple’s position in China, the analyst said, “has never been better,” and China represents a “significant long-term opportunity” for the company.

Tim Cook Publicly Acknowledges He is Gay

In an opinion piece published this morning on Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook wrote, “While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

Among the benefits he lists is that the challenges that come with being gay have given him “the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.”

Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF — VTI

To invest in AAPL, while minimizing risk by investing in a large basket of stocks, consider an ETF such as VTI, which holds 3,772 stocks, with AAPL as its largest holding.

By Diana Primavera, ETF Daily News

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