Reports coming out of Japan indicate Apple Pay could go live in that country as early as October 25. That indicates Apple’s iOS 10.1 update, currently in beta test, would also go live next week. Apple Pay in Japan is said to be part of the upcoming mobile OS update.
Lending credence to the report are the system maintenance downtimes that are sceduled for October 25 by Japanese mobile provider Docomo’s iD payment service and railway company JR East’s Suica transit card system. Both systems will offer Apple Pay compatibility at launch.
Apple announced upcoming Japanese market availability for Apple Pay at last month’s iPhone event. The company did not announce a firm date during the event.
Both Docomo’s iD payment service and JR East’s Suica transit card system use FeliCa Type-F NFC contactless technology. All iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and Apple Watch Series 2 devices sold in the Japanese market support the FeliCa technology.
Apple is looking to get a piece of the valuable commuter payments market in Japan, by offering Apple Pay compatibility for Suica transit cards from JR East and tap-to-pay systems from Docomo and QUICPay.
“We are incredibly excited to bring iPhone 7 to customers in Japan so they can experience the magic of Apple Pay,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in September. Cook was able to try out the Suica compatibility during a visit to Japan last week, using his iPhone 7 to enter a gate JR East’s Yamanote Line in Tokyo.
Apple’s iOS 10.1 update is currently only available to developers and member of Apple’s Public Beta Testing program.