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No near-field communications chip in Apple's next iPhone - report

post #1 of 45
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Apple will not include an RFID near-field communications chip for e-wallet transactions in its anticipated fifth-generation iPhone, a new report claims.

Wall Street research firm Bernstein issued a note to investors on Monday in which it claimed the next iPhone won't include an NFC chip, according to Business Insider. That would run contrary to previous rumors that Apple was planning to include such a chip in its next iPhone.

Numerous reports from various sources had suggested that Apple planned to include NFC chips for e-wallet functionality in its next iPhone. Wireless short-range technology like RFID can allow for secure transmission of data, and could turn a user's smartphone into a credit card.

In March, The New York Times also reported that Apple was planning e-wallet functionality for a "coming" iPhone. However, the newspaper could not confirm whether the functionality would appear in Apple's fifth-generation iPhone.

Apple has shown a great deal of interest in RFID over the years, with numerous patent filings, job listings, and even public comments from mobile executives. Reports of iPhone prototypes with RFID functionality date back to 2009.

If true, Monday's report could mean that users would have to wait until at least the sixth-generation iPhone, likely to arrive in 2012, before such functionality would become available. That would jibe with other rumors that the next iPhone will not feature any significant changes to its hardware.

It would also support a claim out of the U.K. made in March that said RFID functionality had been scrapped. The Independent cited sources at mobile operators who said that Apple plans to include NFC technology in the sixth-generation iPhone in 2012.

Last week, a separate analyst report claimed that the biggest feature of Apple's fifth-generation handset, given the moniker "iPhone 4S," will be support for both Sprint and T-Mobile networks in the U.S. It is also expected to feature better cameras and the dual-core A5 processor found in the iPad 2.

Over the weekend, a separate part and case claimed to be for the fifth-generation iPhone suggested that the camera flash on the rear of the device will be placed farther from the lens. This would allow for better pictures when taken in low lighting.

Apple's next iPhone is widely expected to miss the traditional summer launch timeframe when previous devices have been introduced. Instead, it is believed that the next iPhone will arrive at some point in Apple's 2012 fiscal year, which begins in late September.
post #2 of 45
Don't expect me to purchase a new Iphone if it doesn't have an NFC chip in it. I don't see a reason too otherwise. Apple is falling a year behind Google in this area if this report is indeed true.
post #3 of 45
Coming from the 3GS, a hardware bump is all I'm looking for. I'm downright excited about the beefy camera!
post #4 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Don't expect me to purchase a new Iphone if it doesn't have an NFC chip in it. I don't see a reason too otherwise. Apple is falling a year behind Google in this area if this report is indeed true.

Until the necessary infrastructure and licensing agreements are in place, what can you do with NFC? I know some Google phones have it, but is anybody using it?

I think the inclusion of NFC in the phone is the last piece of a big puzzle.
post #5 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Don't expect me to purchase a new Iphone if it doesn't have an NFC chip in it. I don't see a reason too otherwise. Apple is falling a year behind Google in this area if this report is indeed true.

Is NFC really that important to you? I personally don't expect NFC with phones to really take off for at least another year or two. There is not really a standard with industry wide support, no standardized infrastructure, no actual market pull from consumers, and for now, no one even seems to have a clear and comprehensive strategy for NFC applications. It's all nice and dandy that some Android phones throw in an NFC chip, but what good is it if you can't do anything with it?

Don't get me wrong, I still think you could do a lot of really interesting stuff with NFC, and I see phones replacing chipcards for all kinds of things. Just not within a year or two. Too many parties involved, and no one seems to work together to get some show on the road, to reach the critical mass required for any NFC standard for phones to really take off.
post #6 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsimpsen View Post

Until the necessary infrastructure and licensing agreements are in place, what can you do with NFC? I know some Google phones have it, but is anybody using it?

I think the inclusion of NFC in the phone is the last piece of a big puzzle.

I agree.
NFC will be useful when my phone can function as my primary form of ID: my license.
Then I can do away with my wallet entirely.
post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

Is NFC really that important to you? I personally don't expect NFC to really take off for at least another year or two. There is not really a standard with industry wide support, no standardized infrastructure, no actual market pull from consumers, and for now, no one even seems to have a clear and comprehensive strategy for NFC applications. It's all nice and dandy that some Android phones throw in an NFC chip, but what good is it if you can't do anything with it?

Don't get me wrong, I still think you could do a lot of really interesting stuff with NFC, and I see phones replacing chipcards for all kinds of things. Just not within a year or two. Too many parties involved, and no one seems to work together to get some show on the road, to reach the critical mass required for any NFC standard for phones to really take off.

Perhaps the chipset will be there for NFC, just not functional when shipped. At least buyers of the 4S/iPhone5 wouldn't have to do without if/when Apple includes the feature next year.
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post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Don't expect me to purchase a new Iphone if it doesn't have an NFC chip in it. I don't see a reason too otherwise. Apple is falling a year behind Google in this area if this report is indeed true.


Not worrisome to me. You can say Apple was behind on tablets and it didn't really hurt. Late to smartphones - not a problem. MS has been in smartphones forever - but they need to be joined to Nokia at the hip just to keep their head above water. MS lacks the ability to catch up. Apple doesn't have that problem. They'll package NFC in a way nobody else does and gain share through their integrated service.

Still long on aapl. Ss others said, NFC is a developing story, the pieces aren't in place yet. Apple doesn't need to be first, just like they weren't first with 3G phones.
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post #9 of 45
It's a shame Apple doesn't jump on the bandwagon for whatever the latest technology darling is at the moment. I wish they would use their customers as guinea pigs, releasing untested technology as soon as it comes out.

We want products that don't work. Even the Nexus S has an NFC chip that can't be used anywhere. What's wrong with that? They should have put a forward-facing camera even before their FaceTime app was ready to go. Throw it in there first and see what sticks.

It's a shame. There are a lot of consumers out there who want to have products that don't work yet just so they can show and tell their friends that they have the latest gizmo that serves a purpose to no one except their own egos.

Such a shame. Now the Google Nexus S can be first to the NFC party, a party that has a total of zero people in attendance and no drinks being served and a absent DJ.
post #10 of 45
NFC will have uses beyond payments too. Somewhere I saw a demonstration of file transfer between mobile devices using the technology. And one of the major university's had a demonstration linking web tv to your television using NFC and your TV remote.

At least some of these guys are thinking outside the box.
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post #11 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

Not worrisome to me. You can say Apple was behind on tablets and it didn't really hurt. Late to smartphones - not a problem. MS has been in smartphones forever - but they need to be joined to Nokia at the hip just to keep their head above water. MS lacks the ability to catch up. Apple doesn't have that problem. They'll package NFC in a way nobody else does and gain share through their integrated service.

Still long on aapl. Ss others said, NFC is a developing story, the pieces aren't in place yet. Apple doesn't need to be first, just like they weren't first with 3G phones.

My statement was about not having an interest in buying another Iphone until the NFC chip is put in....over the air updates for IOS and an overhaul of Itunes would be nice while they are at it.
post #12 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Don't expect me to purchase a new Iphone if it doesn't have an NFC chip in it. I don't see a reason too otherwise. Apple is falling a year behind Google in this area if this report is indeed true.

Apple didn't make the first MP3 player, smartphone, or tablet, either. Doing it a bit later but doing it better than anyone else seems to have worked out fairly well for them, no?
post #13 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

Not worrisome to me. You can say Apple was behind on tablets and it didn't really hurt. Late to smartphones - not a problem. MS has been in smartphones forever - but they need to be joined to Nokia at the hip just to keep their head above water. MS lacks the ability to catch up. Apple doesn't have that problem. They'll package NFC in a way nobody else does and gain share through their integrated service.

Still long on aapl. Ss others said, NFC is a developing story, the pieces aren't in place yet. Apple doesn't need to be first, just like they weren't first with 3G phones.

I agree that it's better to be better than it is to be first.
post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Don't expect me to purchase a new Iphone if it doesn't have an NFC chip in it. I don't see a reason too otherwise. Apple is falling a year behind Google in this area if this report is indeed true.

Nearly any random bunch of hardware engineers (e.g. HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Nokia) can mash together a droid with lots of hardware features. But then it falls on Google to actually write code to use those features. And that's Android's second biggest problem. (The Oracle lawsuit being big problem number one.)

Some of the generic droid makers farted out a phone that had a front-facing camera for video calls. Google failed to provide software that could use it. Clear evidence of Google's public-alpha mentality. For more evidence, Google "Google Wave" and "Google TV."

Or, better yet, don't Google them. Just go straight to Wikipedia.

[Update: macinthe408 points out that the Nexus S has an NFC chip that is languishing from lack of software to take advantage of its magical powers. No wonder it wasn't good enough to be called "Nexus 2."]

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post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

My statement was about not having an interest in buying another Iphone until the NFC chip is put in....over the air updates for IOS and an overhaul of Itunes would be nice while they are at it.

iTunes needs an overhaul, and better support for keeping parts of your library on different drives. In particular, it would be nice if it was "drive-aware" in the interface, so you could select a bunch of media and designate a drive for it right in the Get Info panel. Sort of like some of the photo libraries that let you have offline content.

And wifi sync !!
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post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

iTunes needs an overhaul, and better support for keeping parts of your library on different drives. In particular, it would be nice if it was "drive-aware" in the interface, so you could select a bunch of media and designate a drive for it right in the Get Info panel. Sort of like some of the photo libraries that let you have offline content. ...

I don't think it needs to be "drive aware" at all. The whole point of a media library is that it allows the user to manage the media without needing to know about drives. The average user doesn't (or shouldn't) need to know anything about what kind of physical drives are in their computer.

On the other hand, iTunes certainly needs to be better at managing the library, and finding it when it moves to a different drive is a part of that. I'd also like to see it be able to handle more than one library. Especially with home sharing, you have to designate one master computer in the home to store all the media for the household when in fact, you probably want to have one library for that and other libraries for other uses.

iTunes forces you to have everything in one massive library when in fact you probably want one for the kids and one for the adults at minimum. I also don't like storing movies that I take myself in the same spot as commercial movies I've bought and paid for. Multiple libraries and easy management of them is something sorely lacking IMO.
post #17 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I don't think it needs to be "drive aware" at all. The whole point of a media library is that it allows the user to manage the media without needing to know about drives. The average user doesn't (or shouldn't) need to know anything about what kind of physical drives are in their computer.

On the other hand, iTunes certainly needs to be better at managing the library, and finding it when it moves to a different drive is a part of that. I'd also like to see it be able to handle more than one library. Especially with home sharing, you have to designate one master computer in the home to store all the media for the household when in fact, you probably want to have one library for that and other libraries for other uses.

iTunes forces you to have everything in one massive library when in fact you probably want one for the kids and one for the adults at minimum. I also don't like storing movies that I take myself in the same spot as commercial movies I've bought and paid for. Multiple libraries and easy management of them is something sorely lacking IMO.

If it were drive-aware I could put certain content that I rarely access on an external drive, easily. I don't like having my whole library on an external because there's lag.

Not sure what your point is, but I'd prefer more features instead of less. It can be done discretely so that "average users" don't have to see it.

Libraries are getting large with video content. The i7 iMac I just bought has a 2TB drive. My library will take up a very large chunk of that. I'd like to be able to easily migrate some of the content to an external. Just because you don't have that need doesn't mean it wouldn't be an extremely useful feature.

And yes, I know it can be done manually, that's not what I want to do.
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post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

If it were drive-aware I could put certain content that I rarely access on an external drive, easily. I don't like having my whole library on an external because there's lag.

Not sure what your point is, but I'd prefer more features instead of less. It can be done discretely so that "average users" don't have to see it.

Libraries are getting large with video content. The i7 iMac I just bought has a 2TB drive. My library will take up a very large chunk of that. I'd like to be able to easily migrate some of the content to an external. Just because you don't have that need doesn't mean it wouldn't be an extremely useful feature.

And yes, I know it can be done manually, that's not what I want to do.

I know what you're saying. I just meant that the whole point of the software is for the user not to have to manage the files, folders, and drives. If you are moving things from drive to drive, you might as well be doing it manually.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong or that I wouldn't mind manual management myself, just that it's asking the product to do something that it was specifically designed to avoid.
post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I know what you're saying. I just meant that the whole point of the software is for the user not to have to manage the files, folders, and drives. If you are moving things from drive to drive, you might as well be doing it manually.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong or that I wouldn't mind manual management myself, just that it's asking the product to do something that it was specifically designed to avoid.

Well - we've gone off topic and I'll have to agree to disagree. iTunes has come a long way from where it started. Now it manages video, podcasts, apps, Apple TV and multiple iOS devices.

I maintain that such a product - when there aren't really alternatives - needs to become more powerful and flexible as part of its evolution.
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post #20 of 45
Just bring the next phone! 'NFC? We dont have any NFC. We dont need no stinking NFC.'
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post #21 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I know what you're saying. I just meant that the whole point of the software is for the user not to have to manage the files, folders, and drives. If you are moving things from drive to drive, you might as well be doing it manually.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong or that I wouldn't mind manual management myself, just that it's asking the product to do something that it was specifically designed to avoid.

You can manually manage media. just uncheck 'copy to itunes media folder'
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post #22 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by kohelet View Post

You can manually manage media. just uncheck 'copy to itunes media folder'

That's true, but it's messier when you already have the content in there and you want to split it up.
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post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple will not include an RFID near-field communications chip for e-wallet transactions in its anticipated fifth-generation iPhone, a new report claims.

No loss.
post #24 of 45
On what evidence is this claim based?
post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

Well - we've gone off topic and I'll have to agree to disagree. iTunes has come a long way from where it started. Now it manages video, podcasts, apps, Apple TV and multiple iOS devices.

I maintain that such a product - when there aren't really alternatives - needs to become more powerful and flexible as part of its evolution.

The search in Itunes is abominable.
post #26 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

No loss.

For me it's a loss of a sale. There is no other reason to buy another iphone until I hear a compelling reason to buy it. The whole speed bump thing works great if you are releasing 18 phones/yr but since they are releasing one per year... It's kinda well...NO! People have to earn my dollars and not expect me to just give it to them simply for releasing a product.
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

The search in Itunes is abominable.

I am a heavy iTunes user, and can think of MANY improvements. In fact, I'd pay for an "iTunes Pro" if one existed and it did the things I'm looking for.

At the same time, I remember listening to music BEFORE I could command 80,000+ songs with keywords and playlists. Night and day.

For me, it's a string of highly personal radio stations.
post #28 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

If it were drive-aware I could put certain content that I rarely access on an external drive, easily. I don't like having my whole library on an external because there's lag.

I don't understand why you don't realize that iTunes is location aware now. I have my most used movies on a separate partition and those I use rarely on an external drive. My music is also someplace else. Everything shows up in your normal iTunes interface and the library is in its normal place. iTunes has no problem knowing where everything is. Just tell iTunes where you put the media and iTunes keeps that location info in the file's meta data. IMO that is being drive aware without the problems of managing drives. It's really that simple.
post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsimpsen View Post

Until the necessary infrastructure and licensing agreements are in place, what can you do with NFC?

NFC operates in a global ISM band, so licensing isn't an issue.

1. start developing apps for when there is US NFC infrastructure
2. start developing apps for the already present NFC infrastructure in EU, Korea, Japan.
3. use it with already present NFC in EU, Korea, Japan

The USA is about 5-10 years behind the curve on smartcards and NFC. Just because you don't see it here, it does not mean it is not available elsewhere.

That NFC (maybe) is not in the next iPhone is probably a sign that the iPhone 4 form factor will continue. NFC needs to be built into the device, so it would be more cost effective to develop it into an all-new model (presumably iPhone 5). Apple should release the API ahead of time, though.
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post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

That's true, but it's messier when you already have the content in there and you want to split it up.

How messy can it be? Just move the folder of files to where you want them and play one of them from within iTunes. iTunes will ask you to locate where the media is and fix its location data and also do it for all the other items in that folder. From that point on they play as if they are in the library folder. No need to turn on manual organizing.
post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

The USA is about 5-10 years behind the curve on smartcards and NFC. Just because you don't see it here, it does not mean it is not available elsewhere.

Correct! I see "contactless" payment terminals in a lot of shops and restaurants now. Most banks are now issuing cards with NFC chips in them, as well as the standard chip and pin authentication method.

I was so shocked to hear that in the USA it is still common to verify your identity when paying with a credit/debit card by signing your name . That went away many years ago in the UK.
post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

For me it's a loss of a sale. There is no other reason to buy another iphone until I hear a compelling reason to buy it. The whole speed bump thing works great if you are releasing 18 phones/yr but since they are releasing one per year... It's kinda well...NO! People have to earn my dollars and not expect me to just give it to them simply for releasing a product.

Actually, I was planning to give Apple my money for simply releasing a product.

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post #33 of 45
I don't see the need for NFC for the next iPhone iteration. It's not widely adopted yet. That said, it would be better for Google, Apple and other tech giants to take the lead. Better them than the telcos who are gunning for this right now.

As for the Nexus S....the criticism on here just shows that people don't really understand the point of the whole Nexus line. It's not meant to be a mass market phone. Sure, some people buy it for the pure Google experience. But the reason, the Nexus phones include new technologies and come out with a new version of the OS six months before everybody else adopts it, is so that developers get to play with this stuff and come up with new apps and see how they can take advantage of this tech. NFC on the Nexus S is meant to lay the groundwork for widespread adoption of NFC in a year or two.
post #34 of 45
Aren't you the same group of people that dont want publishers to have any info on you at all, yet you're willing to put all your precious data into your phone plus let it be transmitted? How many devices have claimed to be unhackable only to get hacked the first day of release. No thank you I'll pay with cash like i always do
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post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple will not include an RFID near-field communications chip for e-wallet transactions

The rumour pretty clearly speaks about e-wallet applications, it doesn't say anything about NFC generally.

Just because it can't replace my Visa card, doesn't mean RFID won't be used in other ways (like during login, making a connection between iMac and iPhone)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Perhaps the chipset will be there for NFC, just not functional when shipped.

That's also possible.

Or the chip will be just used for Apple NFC applications to start with, then upgraded with e-wallet.
post #36 of 45
Maybe not next year. But surely a year after that.

Visa is already moving ahead:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/artic...5&pageNumber=1

Google is working with Mastercard:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...412152678.html

It'll only be a matter of time before the cards themselves are all NFC. At the point, not having NFC on the handset, would be a major shortcoming. It's just a question of schedule for the iPhone.
post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post

How messy can it be? Just move the folder of files to where you want them and play one of them from within iTunes. iTunes will ask you to locate where the media is and fix its location data and also do it for all the other items in that folder. From that point on they play as if they are in the library folder. No need to turn on manual organizing.

It's messy by Apple standards as soon as you take it out of iTunes and into Finder. As is the fixing location data.

What I picture: In the Get Info pane there's a dropdown with drives. Any time you select a group of items in iTunes and look at their Get Info and select a different drive iTunes builds a folder structure with Media as the root and places your items on that drive, using the same hierarchy it uses elsewhere. That's still probably too messy, as they haven't done it.
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post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

Correct! I see "contactless" payment terminals in a lot of shops and restaurants now. Most banks are now issuing cards with NFC chips in them, as well as the standard chip and pin authentication method.

I was so shocked to hear that in the USA it is still common to verify your identity when paying with a credit/debit card by signing your name . That went away many years ago in the UK.

Yes, this is one reason why credit card fraud is more rampant here than in other developed nations. Banks in the USA are so protected by the federal government that they have little incentive to prevent fraud. If that protection were taken away, we would be the world leader in smartcards, within a month!
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post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post

How messy can it be? Just move the folder of files to where you want them and play one of them from within iTunes. iTunes will ask you to locate where the media is and fix its location data and also do it for all the other items in that folder. From that point on they play as if they are in the library folder. No need to turn on manual organizing.

I have another huge issue with iTunes. I store my iTunes library on a separate FAT partition so that it is readable by both OS X and also Windows under Boot Camp. Each time I switch between the 2 (daily) iTunes has to update the library. In Windows XP this takes no more than a couple of minutes. In OS X however this can take an hour or more!! During which time iTunes is inaccessible! It's crazy... It's not as though the library has changed in any meaningful way throughout the course of an average day - maybe a couple of podcasts/app updates downloaded. Can't figure out why this works so poorly...
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post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Don't expect me to purchase a new Iphone if it doesn't have an NFC chip in it. I don't see a reason too otherwise. Apple is falling a year behind Google in this area if this report is indeed true.

BS. A year behind nothing of backend services is nothing.
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