If you had hoped Android Pay would bring harmony and ubiquity in an otherwise deeply fragmented mobile ecosystem, there’s bad news to report out of China, with the nation’s leading smartphone manufacturers purportedly intent on taking Apple and Samsung on as far as digital wallet platforms are concerned.
It’s unclear whether the likes of Xiaomi, Huawei and ZTE will join forces to provide a single alternative for rapidly rising Apple Pay and Samsung Pay services, as well as established local solutions from WeChat and Alibaba, or each go their own way and flood the market with a bunch of proprietary mobile payment apps.
The former seems preferable, but Google always told its Android-loving fans diversity and choice were good, inciting competition, evolution and innovation. Of course, this is all far from confirmed, sounding like guesswork by top IHS Asian analyst Kevin Wang, who supplies no hard evidence to back his conjecture.
If true, and if there are indeed three separate on-the-go transaction services in the pipeline, they could all be announced in a matter of days at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where Xiaomi, Huawei and ZTE have confirmed their presence for Mi 5, P9, MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro and/or MateBook introductions, plus something we haven’t heard anything specific on yet.
It’s worth pointing out the long-rumored Xiaomi Mi 5 should pick up an NFC chip its Mi 4 predecessor snubbed, thus decidedly hinting at a Xiaomi Pay release.