Purported working iPhone 6 suggests Passbook will be Apple’s mobile wallet app

Although it’s just a few days before the Tuesday Apple event, the iPhone 6 leaks and speculation haven’t stopped. On Saturday, images of an alleged working iPhone 6 appeared on a China website where MacRumors found and reported on what was shown. There wasn’t an iWallet up but there was a new icon for Passbook, suggesting that it will handle Apple’s mobile payments.

iphone 6 passbook

There’s no way to corroborate the images or information at this point; we’ll have to wait for the Apple event next week, of course. But the idea of expanding Passbook’s functionality makes some sense.

On Friday, I detailed my thoughts of how Apple might put all the pieces of the mobile payment puzzle together, noting that it was a Passbook pop-up notification that got me thinking of the method. Passbook is already a known entity because people have already used it. It works contextually – an important point of my thought process — by surfacing important information at the right time and place; such as an airline ticket when you’re at the airport and it’s close to boarding time.

I suggested that with iBeacons, your payment information could pop-up in the same contextual manner. Coupons or promotions could easily be added to your Passbook app when you walk into a store, for example. And when you get in line to pay for your goods, an appropriate payment card could surface as well.

Apple could yet surprise us with a dedicated wallet app, of course. But Passbook is a logical place to handle all retail activity, including wireless payments via an NFC chip in the iPhone 6 or an iWatch that’s linked to either current or older iPhones.