Based on multiple sources close to Apple, Bank Innovation has learned that iOS 8.1 will include Apple Pay, and the current expected timetable for the public release is schedule for October 20.
Similarly, multiple sources close to Apple — as well as MacRumors — report that iOS 8.1 contains hidden code that will allow Apple to “test” Apple Pay with the private beta release of iOS 8.1, as Bank Innovation has previously reported.
As 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman reported earlier, it seems like Apple has shifted its development timetable. Instead of sticking to the normal schedule of releasing an “iOS x.1” release in the beginning of the next year, Apple is working on iOS 8.1, 8.2., and 8.3 at the same time, based on data compiled by 9to5Mac’s page view analytics service.
Sources close to Apple have been confirming that Apple Pay would be attached to iOS 8.1 since the September 9 iPhone event held earlier this month. Sources who spoke to Bank Innovation indicated that the public release of iOS 8.1 will be in sometime in October and may have improvements for other Apple services. Previously, 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman reported that iOS 8 will be adding major improvements to the Apple Maps app, which hasn’t been added on to the initial (very buggy) release of iOS 8. We expect that the iOS 8.1 release will be timed to the still-unconfirmed October event held by Apple to announce their new iPad devices, as other websites have previously reported and Bank Innovation has heard rumors about, as well.
In September, Bank Innovation reported that Apple was already doing early beta test for Apple Pay. Here’s what we wrote at the time:
Apple Pay wasn’t in yesterday’s initial iOS 8 launch, with the company saying in its media event that the feature would be added in October. However, developers are typically granted early access to iOS beta’s via the Apple developer website and it would not make sense for Apple to roll out such a massive feature that involves so many other players without a bit of forewarning. We understand that developers en masse will get access to the Apple Pay beta.
This will presumably take place in early October — which our sources tell us is now a firmer time frame. While our sources didn’t confirm whether this would be a public or beta release, it seems as though Apple will be releasing Apple Pay incrementally through a beta release to give developers more time to work on the new payment method. We would expect this to be welcome news to Stripe developers, for example.
MacRumors’ most recent report about iOS 8.1 confirms our sources information of this early beta test. We reported earlier that developers were worried that they wouldn’t be able to test out Apple Pay before the public release, since many merchants who have spoken anonymously to Bank Innovation are expecting massive Apple Pay volume from Day 1. (That being said, experts in the financial services industry aren’t as optimistic — many expect that Apple Pay “will be the next Siri.”)
The only issue is the timetable, which continues to shift as Apple makes massive security advances in the payments field. Our sources have given dates ranging from anywhere to late September to early November. Due to the continually changing reports, Bank Innovation cannot confirm the exact date at this time, but we can confirm that Apple will stick to its timetable of “October” and that sources at Apple say that the official Apple Pay release is tentatively scheduled for the third Monday of October. We were initially skeptical of the idea that Apple is moving towards a more rapidly development period — however sources indicate that this is the case because Apple wants to make sure these massive projects like Maps and Apple Pay are perfected before they’re released.
Apple declined to comment for this story.