Passbook was one of the major features introduced in iOS 6 to allow companies to expand their tickets, loyalty cards, giftcards, and coupons digitally. The new feature has location awareness to help users get Passbook access when it is needed in the range of the business. However, it still tends to fall short to the true digital wallet while missing hardware advances such as NFC (near field communication).
To provide supporting evidence for this, Wired has word from American Airlines director of mobile apps Phil Easter. Passbook has shown growth tremendously with with 1.5 million active Passbook users, and 20,000 passes being delivered to flyers everyday.
“We were amazed at the high uptake,” Phil Easter, American Airlines’ director of mobile apps said. “Apple has allowed an app developer like us is to put features right in front of the user where before, that space was off limits.” – wired
While there is growth with groups of users, some are still having difficulty with Passbook’s ease of use. In most cases the user would have to download the company’s app, push their rewards card/coupons what have you to Passbook, and it’s not always the easiest way of letting users know about their Passbook capabilities or ease of access. Most users agree that if the user has a account for giftcards or rewards that it should be automatically loaded into Passbook. (Passbook Walkthrough for Dummies)
There have been rumors of Apple looking into adopting NFC with the next generation iPhone, but that is still just here-say as there haven’t been any hard evidence part leaks or anything yet. We would expect leaks to start coming out sometime in January/February after the Holiday Season.