Since launching Apple Pay in 2014, Apple has been pushing the service into new markets and new locations as it tries to take over the mobile payment space, so the news marks some important progress for the company. Apple is also emphasizing its services more now that iPhone sales growth is starting to slow.
Some of the companies that will be adding Apple Pay compatibility in their stores include Crate & Barrel, Chick-fil-A, and Au Bon Pain.
Google's (GOOGL) - Get Report Android Pay is available at over one million stores across the U.S., according to the company, although since it relies on the same near-field communications (NFC) technology as Apple Pay, it can be accepted anywhere that Apple Pay is. Samsung's (SSNLF) mobile wallet option, Samsung Pay, uses a different technology and can be accepted at any retailer that accepts credit cards.
On top of the new retail locations, Apple also announced some progress for Apple Pay's in-app feature.
Zappos has decided to offer Apple Pay its iPhone and iPad apps, a significant win for Apple given that Zappos stopped accepting PayPal (PYPL) - Get Report once it was acquired by Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report . Amazon is trying to build its own digital payment solution Pay with Amazon.
Apple also announced that in-app purchase volume from Apple Pay more than doubled in the second half of 2015 compared to the first half.
With the mobile payment space getting more crowded by the day, these milestones are big for Apple. The only way to succeed in the space is to get more retailers to accept your payment method, and more customers using it. The customers can only use it if it's accepted at merchants, but merchants only want to accept it if they can be sure customers will use it.
Apple seems to be having success at breaking through that vicious cycle.
"Retailers are witnessing the adoption speed of Apple Pay in the U.S., and refusing to accept Apple Pay means no less than turning down customers' needs," IHS Technology analyst Siyun Zeng told TheStreet in an earlier interview.