Matt Richman ponders this question on his personal site. At the top of his article, he quotes Tim Cook, who makes it apparent that this is what Apple wants to iPhone to be eventually:
He goes on to highlight the plethora of barriers Apple would have to surpass for this to be the case:
Another barrier regarding the iPhone as a wallet replacement:
It goes to show that the complete replacement of the wallet and passport may be the next big challenge of the smartphone… which makes it all the more odd that the narrative circling around now is VR eventually taking over and potentially replacing the smartphone. Maybe it will happen, but that’s like waiting for flying cars - it’ll happen on an infinite time scale, but no time within the next decade or two, especially when the smartphone’s potential is far from being unlocked.
Still, Richman urges Apple to keep on in spite of the barriers, and I do, too. As with many of the opportunities they pursue, Apple’s in a unique position to fulfil Cook’s vision, at least partially. This is given a) their ability to integrate hardware, software, and services, and b) their stance on security, which is an absolute must for the storage of confidential files like travel and medical documents.
The work will be tough, but it’s really something I believe only Apple can do.