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Apple still planning to include NFC e-wallet in next iPhone - rumor

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
On the heels of a recent report downplaying rumors that the next iPhone will include wireless near-field communication technology, one report has reignited speculation with the news that NFC industry insiders still believe the iPhone 5 will carry the feature.

A report by Forbes blogger Elizabeth Woyke on Friday has countered a recent report from The Independent that denied rumors of wireless NFC technology in Apple's next generation iPhone. The Independent claimed earlier this week that Apple had disclosed to "several" mobile operators in the U.K. its alleged decision to abandon plans to include the feature in the so-called iPhone 5.

According to Woyke, "an entrepreneur who is working on a top-secret NFC project" cited a friend who works at Apple to assert that the iPhone 5 will have NFC contactless capabilities. The entrepreneur also told Woyke that manufacturers of NFC readers expect Apple's next smartphone to have NFC and are gearing up for "the additional NFC traffic the iPhone 5 will bring, likely this summer."

Woyke acknowledged The Independent's claims, noting that many had been "surprised" by the report. The U.K. publication had cited "the lack of a clear standard" as Apple's reason for allegedly delaying the feature.

However, Woyke affirmed her faith in the credibility of her source, in spite of the on-again, off-again nature of the report. "I trust this source and know he has connections in the NFC market because of his own project," she wrote.

In January, Richard Doherty, director of the consulting firm Envisioneering Group claimed that Apple planned to start its own retail-based mobile payment service as early as mid-2011. It should be noted, however, that Doherty erroneously predicted that Apple would add an NFC chip to the iPad 2.

AppleInsider discovered in January that Apple was looking to hire a test engineer with experience in near-field communications, namely RFID.

Last month, Germany's Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile, fueled speculation even more when it mentioned Apple during a presentation on e-wallet payment systems.
post #2 of 32
I hope NFC isn't "the" feature of the next iPhone. i like the idea, but support from vendors might be scant in the beginning.
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post #3 of 32
Hmmm, so how does Apple's 30 percent cut come into play?

<sarcasm>
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post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

On the heels of a recent report downplaying rumors that the next iPhone will include wireless near-field communication technology, one report has reignited speculation with the news that NFC industry insiders still believe the iPhone 5 will carry the feature....

Actually, ALL of these reports could be true if we just assume that Apple is coming out with it's own standard. The reports of it *not* being included didn't actually say the hardware wasn't ready, just that Apple didn't like the various competing standards available.
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to Woyke, "an entrepreneur who is working on a top-secret NFC project" cited a friend who works at Apple to assert that the iPhone 5 will have NFC contactless capabilities.

That's quite a few degrees of separation.

RFID adoption in the international market is really a chicken and egg case. RFID isn't really a feature that drives adoption unless you can use it in a number of places. And it's not likely to be available in a number of places unless it's widely adopted.

But we know Apple are setting up a number of other features in their devices which are not necessarily immediately useful but will probably become very useful in the future when market penetration is higher (Facetime and Thunderbolt come to mind).

If RFID does come now it will probably part of coordinated strategy by Apple to expand utility gradually over time. Currently none of Apple's own products would be able to interact with it. And Of course Apple could use it for enhancing wireless security iPhone 5 to iPhone 5 for certain things like sharing contact information between devices in a similar manner to the "bump" app.

I guess it will all depend on the cost and space requirements of the RFID chips in the short term and whether Apple is targeting iPhone 3GS users or iPhone 4 users with this update.
post #6 of 32
Casting aside the whole friend of a friends boyfriends cousins girlfriend was at 31 flavors stuff, I think it is possible for both reports to be true. Apple coud be including NFC but for limited uses and not yet as a dump all your plastic e wallet gig.

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post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

Hmmm, so how does Apple's 30 percent cut come into play?

<sarcasm>

It won't be 30%

It might be less than the transaction fee charged by Visa, Mastercard and Amex.

Apple wouldn't enter such an established market unless they had a significant disruption strategy.

Unless they link your iTunes account directly to your bank account it's use would still be tied to your credit card anyway (which Apple waives the transaction fees for at the moment). I'm not so sure Apple would be so eager to waive the transaction fees when you purchase a new sofa.
post #8 of 32
It is. Or it is not.

Ok, that's out of the way.
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

It won't be 30%

It might be less than the transaction fee charged by Visa, Mastercard and Amex.

Apple wouldn't enter such an established market unless they had a significant disruption strategy.

Unless they link your iTunes account directly to your bank account it's use would still be tied to your credit card anyway (which Apple waives the transaction fees for at the moment). I'm not so sure Apple would be so eager to waive the transaction fees when you purchase a new sofa.

Unless the purchase is being made with a VISA app.


Let me get one thing straight here tho guys, NFC already exists... it's called Bluetooth, oh and WiFi.

Near. Field. Communications.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

Unless the purchase is being made with a VISA app.


Let me get one thing straight here tho guys, NFC already exists... it's called Bluetooth, oh and WiFi.

Near. Field. Communications.

One could argue so is speech ... but I think we all understand we are discussing radio-frequency identification tag recognition in this instance. I can see Apple leading the way into domestic use of this technology which is the beginning of the Jetson's household. Apps to check the supplies in your fridge, order replacements and alert you to that expired milk. Of course the milk has to be tagged but as the article points out it is chicken and egg situation. Perhaps Apple is the one to break the shell (or what ever the correct metaphor (or is it a simile) is!).

It must be hard on the Android team not knowing if they should be going down this path yet or waiting for iPhone 6. They must miss having an insider on Apple's board!
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post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

It won't be 30%

It might be less than the transaction fee charged by Visa, Mastercard and Amex.

Apple wouldn't enter such an established market unless they had a significant disruption strategy.

Unless they link your iTunes account directly to your bank account it's use would still be tied to your credit card anyway (which Apple waives the transaction fees for at the moment). I'm not so sure Apple would be so eager to waive the transaction fees when you purchase a new sofa.

I don't think it can be less, I think it will match visa rates at around 2 percent. Unless that north Carolina data center is a credit card processing center I think it will be hard to create some sort of proprietary credit processing system. A partnership with Visa or MasterCard is more likely.
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post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

Let me get one thing straight here tho guys, NFC already exists... it's called Bluetooth, oh and WiFi.

Near. Field. Communications.

Thanks for that, Sherlock.
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post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

I don't think it can be less, I think it will match visa rates at around 2 percent. Unless that north Carolina data center is a credit card processing center I think it will be hard to create some sort of proprietary credit processing system. A partnership with Visa or MasterCard is more likely.

You're probably right regarding a partnership with Visa or Mastercard. It would be easier to implement with their involvement because the authentication infrastructure is already in place in a way that's (apparently) more reliable than the internet. And it would sell lots of Apple devices.

Maybe once it's established Apple will look to replace Visa/Mastercard's role entirely. I think Steve would consider this an ideal market to exercise control over.
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

You're probably right regarding a partnership with Visa or Mastercard.

Or Apple goes to Visa and says "we're thinking of launching our own system. Unless you want to remove your credit card fees for Apple, and we partner with you"
post #15 of 32
I thought Steve Jobs' recent comment about Apple having over 200 million credit cards on file, most likely larger than anyone else, may have been a hint.
post #16 of 32
Ugh, not this again.

If it actually is put in the phone, just make damn sure there's a way to completely and fully disable it!!
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post #17 of 32
Apple could be putting NFC in the phone but not setting up their own transaction system. I have never used such a system, but why would the transaction go through the phone anyway, the phone authenticates that the account is good but the actual request for funds would come from the merchant side, would it not?
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Ugh, not this again.

If it actually is put in the phone, just make damn sure there's a way to completely and fully disable it!!

For sure, shouter. Apple always provides options for this stuff. Always.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by wally626 View Post

Apple could be putting NFC in the phone but not setting up their own transaction system.

I find it hard to believe they wouldn't sell their own little box for the transaction. They can sell the Apple TV at a profit for $99. I think they could do the same with this box, and stores would buy them at that price.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by retroneo (MacRumors) View Post

This cloud based home feature isn't really dependant on NFC or the iPhone - you could just log in to using your Apple ID and password to any Mac.

enter
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

RFID adoption [] is really a chicken and egg case. RFID isn't really a feature that drives adoption unless you can use it in a number of places. And it's not likely to be available in a number of places unless it's widely adopted. If RFID does come now it will probably part of coordinated strategy by Apple to expand utility gradually over time.

This was my reaction as well. Reading the article made me glad I'm not upgrading this summer (mid-contract anyway) regardless of new features. Apple's iPhone refresh cycle may be annual, but mine is biannual and conveniently coincides with major design improvements.

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post #22 of 32
If this means I can place an electronic order to Wendy's for a #2 plain no cheese and a large diet and consistently get my order without cheese I'm all over this feature. I mean you'd almost think PLAIN would do the trick but when one says plain NO cheese and still receiving cheese is just rude and it happens nearly 100% of the time to the point I no longer use the drive-up cause I know a 2nd visit to the window is all but a given...
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post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I find it hard to believe they wouldn't sell their own little box for the transaction. They can sell the Apple TV at a profit for $99. I think they could do the same with this box, and stores would buy them at that price.

Wouldn't that constitute Apple entering the hardware side of the POS market? They'd have to introduce an entirely new product category (which I know isn't beyond them), only this time targeted directly at retailers. You really see Apple going that way? And would/should Apple really be responsible for providing that hardware (to build the infrastructure for NFC themselves)?

I've read posts here from people in Japan that NFC on mobiles is pretty common there. How does the system work there?

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post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I find it hard to believe they wouldn't sell their own little box for the transaction. They can sell the Apple TV at a profit for $99. I think they could do the same with this box, and stores would buy them at that price.

They already sell those boxes. They are called iPhone and iPad. Once this is available, it'll be integrated in new models in existing product lines, and probably available as an accessery for older models.
post #25 of 32
It would make sense for them to! It's definitely the future. A very logical function.

I just find it absolutely hilarious how on the other rumor thread, the haters were bitching, while the fanboys were making excuses for Apple, all before anything was even confirmed.

I still think it's possible that Apple will come up with their own standard lol
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

I hope NFC isn't "the" feature of the next iPhone. i like the idea, but support from vendors might be scant in the beginning.

Well sure. Vendors don't want to spend money on something folks can't use.

But there is some support and I think that is where Apple will point their focus. Gas stations fast pay, metro tap cards etc. They make not link to credit card systems yet cause as they said, there are multiple styles right now. And they don't want to be HD while the world goes blu-ray

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post #27 of 32
After this report, I heard that they're not.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

For sure, shouter.

Yay, I was heard by at least one person! ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Apple always provides options for this stuff. Always.

Nope, not always. Tell me how to disable the GPS on an iPhone? It's one thing to restrict 3rd party access, but as I understand it, Apple has access to that data 24/7. As well as the telcos, but that's impossible to avoid.

There's no way to block outgoing network traffic, ala Little Snitch, and Apple doesn't look like they're going to approve that kind of app. This is an even bigger problem, and it's not getting enough attention.

I do not trust that any NFC will be completely disable-able until the devices are in our hands and tested by outsiders.
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post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Nope, not always. Tell me how to disable the GPS on an iPhone? It's one thing to restrict 3rd party access, but as I understand it, Apple has access to that data 24/7. As well as the telcos, but that's impossible to avoid.

Why are so concerned about this? The telcos, as you call them, don't need GPS to find out where you are. If you are so paranoid about it you've two choices, turn on Airplane mode or don't buy a phone, not even a feature phone.
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post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Why are so concerned about this?

The question is: how can anyone NOT be concerned about this (as a general topic, not as this specific feature as implemented on iPhones). I'll post this cartoon again, because it's so apropos and seems to register better with people than mere words.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

The telcos, as you call them, don't need GPS to find out where you are. If you are so paranoid about it you've two choices, turn on Airplane mode or don't buy a phone, not even a feature phone.

In fact, I don't own an iPhone, and won't purchase one until/unless issues like these are resolved. Especially the rampant phoning-home. This can kind of be solved by jailbreaking and installing a 3rd party app similar to Little Snitch, but that's a dicey path to start down.

But you bring up a good point about Airplane Mode, so I did a little research. It looks like Apple does in fact disable GPS when in Airplane Mode, but it's not a requirement, and other manufacturers choose not do so (so Apple could change that at any time). But at that point your device has essentially been neutered from any communication whatsoever. Not a great choice.

As consumers, we should all be demanding the ability to decide and control what information is sent out from our connected devices. This becomes more and more important as the devices become more and more tightly bound to our whereabouts and personas. Right now it's like the wild west, where anything goes and "consumer beware!".
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post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

Unless the purchase is being made with a VISA app.

Let me get one thing straight here tho guys, NFC already exists... it's called Bluetooth, oh and WiFi.

Near. Field. Communications.

101:

Bluetooth and WiFi are far field technologies. Far field radio falloff is basically 1/r (r = radius away). NFC is more like (1/r^2). This is important because it allows the field to be confined rather sharply. It also keeps the range low.

NFC is also passive-event-driven, so when its idle the chip is only using enough power to keep its memory alive. This is usually like 2 microwatts. Bluetooth in constant listen mode (where it can be active-event-driven) is more like 80 milliwatts, and WiFi is higher still. In fact, there is a lot of work being done these days to engineer active, far field complements to NFC, for low latency, low rate, long range comms because bluetooth and WiFi are so bad at these things that not even the fact that they already exist in many phones (most, for Bluetooth) is enough to make up for their problems in such applications.
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post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

The question is: how can anyone NOT be concerned about this (as a general topic, ...
As consumers, we should all be demanding the ability to decide and control what information is sent out from our connected devices. This becomes more and more important as the devices become more and more tightly bound to our whereabouts and personas. Right now it's like the wild west, where anything goes and "consumer beware!".

Blame government. They are the ones responsible for E911, not the handset builders or the carriers. As for NFC phone payments, they are basically a billion times more secure than using a typical, american credit card. Also, blame US government on this one, too, because they continue to insure and bail-out banks that should be investing in smartcards, NFC, and other forms of payment that aren't so fraud-prone. Hard to believe given the stereotypical consumerism of the american, but the EU is possibly 10-20 years ahead of us in regard to having a government that supports consumer privacy and anti-fraud.
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