Usually, whenever Apple gets a head start in a high-stakes segment of the tech industry, its rivals are left no chance of recovering lost ground. But as far as mobile payments are concerned, Samsung seems to be still in it to win it, not just pose a decent challenge to the undisputed heavyweight champ.
Right now, Apple Pay is widely available in the US and UK, also offering limited support in Canada and Australia, and setting the stage for imminent expansions to China, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Spain.
In contrast, Samsung Pay can only be used by owners of select high-end Galaxy phones stateside and in Korea, but before long, China, UK and Spain might be added to the supported countries list as well. And then there’s Russia, which hasn’t been rumored to pick up Apple Pay just yet, while some recently leaked promotional material suggests Samsung Pay’s regional launch could take place as early as next week.
Okay, maybe we’re rushing to conclusions and reading too much into what’s ultimately a mere image of the unreleased Galaxy S7, next to Russian advertising copy and the Samsung Pay logo. Besides, the GS7 itself should barely go on sale in the largest country in the world in March, possibly April, so even if the Android-compatible digital wallet service gets announced on Sunday, you’ll need to wait a little while longer to actually be able to use it.
Nonetheless, it’s looking like Samsung will put its first one in the win column in terms of global mobile transaction spread. And with the game tied in the US and China, among others, the overall gold remains up for contention.