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Apple's plans for NFC e-wallet in future iPhone remain 'unknown'

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Despite reports and evidence that Apple is exploring potentially including near-field communications in a future iPhone model, the company's plans remain "unknown," according to one RFID chipmaker.

NXP Technology spoke this week about its own NFC products at the Computex show in Taiwan. And while Android-powered handsets are planning to take advantage of the new Google Wallet service, Apple's commitment to NFC technology is still a mystery, according to Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White.

NXP reportedly indicated that Google Wallet will include partners such as itself, Citibank, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint. Initial trial rollout cities are expected to be New York and San Francisco.

And 80 percent of the smartphone market has reportedly committed to NFC technology thus far, including Nokia and Research in Motion. But the major player absent is Apple, as NXP said the Cupertino, Calif., company's "plans for NFC are unknown."

"Keep in mind, the opinions on whether the next-generation iPhone will include NFC have varied widely this year," White said, "as we believe Apple carefully evaluates this new technology and how to optimize it within the company's digital ecosystem."

In March, The New York Times reported that Apple was planning to include an NFC chip from Qualcomm in a future iPhone, allowing the handset to be used to make e-wallet mobile payments. The report said it was "unclear" whether the NFC feature would appear in Apple's fifth-generation iPhone, which is expected to go on sale later this year.

White said that at Computex, he gathered more data points to "confirm" that the next-generation iPhone will launch in September, and will continue to use IPS technology for its high-resolution Retina Display. Numerous rumors have pointed toward a later than usual launch for the new iPhone this year.

Whether or not the fifth-generation iPhone does include NFC technology, there is plenty of evidence of Apple's interest in an e-wallet-style system. They include hirings, patents, and even claims made by in-the-know mobile executives.
post #2 of 24
seriously? this is a news story? "sources confirm: who knows?!"
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Greg] View Post

seriously? this is a news story? "sources confirm: who knows?!"

This is a rumor site. They report rumors. Get over it.
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

This is a rumor site. They report rumors. Get over it.

I have no problem with rumors. That's why I read this site. It's not a rumor, though... It's a "nothing new to report"... Seems like they should have skipped this one, is all I'm saying. Wait for the next actual rumor.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Greg] View Post

I have no problem with rumors. That's why I read this site. It's not a rumor, though... It's a "nothing new to report"... Seems like they should have skipped this one, is all I'm saying. Wait for the next actual rumor.

I agree. This isn't even a rumor, it's a fact. Just a boring fact: no one who really knows what, if anything, Apple has planned for NFC payment is talking. I doubt the local news will be running with this story tonight.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Greg] View Post

I have no problem with rumors. That's why I read this site. It's not a rumor, though... It's a "nothing new to report"... Seems like they should have skipped this one, is all I'm saying. Wait for the next actual rumor.

I agree that this isn't any big story, however we do have an executive at an NFC-chip manufacturer discussing the future of the technology, including how Apple is the only major player not sharing their plans. It's worth a quick mention, which is all this article aimed to do.
post #7 of 24
. It's a rumor site and rumor has it, nobody has a clue
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Greg] View Post

seriously? this is a news story? "sources confirm: who knows?!"
post #8 of 24
I think this info is pertinent news because it's the kind of thing we feel like we should be hearing about by now. Its absence is peculiar, particularly because Google has been so gung-ho about NFC, and it's beginning to look more like a standard in a smartphone than just a bonus.

I'm curious about the unconventional applications Apple may be intending to explore with this technology. Can it help with inter-device communications? Replace bluetooth in certain ways? etc., etc.
post #9 of 24
I think they will seriously try to get it in there.
Apple does only one major hardware refresh, and one major software update per year. Which is actually a long time. There are at least two versions of Android per year, and a new high-end device like every two weeks. Meaning that the majority of high-end phones sold this holiday season will have NFC capabilities.
If this NFC thing actually takes off, Apple will be left a cycle behind.
15" mbp | iPad2 32gb | Nexus S | mobile-pixels
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15" mbp | iPad2 32gb | Nexus S | mobile-pixels
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post #10 of 24
Apple doesn't need to offer service in this space. It would mean having to do something like Google Wallet and effectively having to compete with Googleand Visa for e-wallets, GroupOn and Google for offers, etc. It's a waste of Apple's resources.

They just need to put the NXP chip in the next iPhone and offer the APIs that are necessary to let iPhone (not even really necessary for the iPad) users join the coming mobile payments revolution. For a launch, maybe they could team up with Visa who doesn't see to have a mobile hardware partner yet.

One thing to note, while there are interesting feature possibilities with NFC, the most interesting one and the one likely to be most used and wanted by the average user is going to be mobile payments. So it's not going to be enough for Apple to slap on just an NFC chip in the iPhone. They need to have the secure element in place to allow for mobile commerce transactions.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

I agree that this isn't any big story, however we do have an executive at an NFC-chip manufacturer discussing the future of the technology, including how Apple is the only major player not sharing their plans..

Is this the only manufacturer out there. Is it possible that the issue is that Apple just isn't talking to them (but is to some other company). Sure anything is possible.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKpro View Post

Meaning that the majority of high-end phones sold this holiday season will have NFC capabilities.
If this NFC thing actually takes off, Apple will be left a cycle behind.

All of this talk about NFC in phones but is NFC a big deal now?

My observation in London and the UK is that few people make use of it for payments
An exception is the Transport for London Oyster card.

A few financial companies issue the NFC Visa or Mastercard, notably Barclays but:

- even within London, there are few places which have or advertise the necessary NFC readers for the Visa or Mastercard NFC cards.

- judging by the curious, even quizzical looks received when I've occasionally used my NFC Mastercard, NFC payments aren't commonplace, perhaps even viewed as a nuisance.

- the VISA and Mastercard NFC cards are intended for small transactions with a maximum value of fifteen pounds.


Maybe Apple is sensibly to wait and see whether NFC is merely a passing fad or not.
I believe Japan is further ahead with using mobiles for NFC transactions, can anybody comment on how popular it is there?
post #13 of 24
Next up on CNN: "There may or may not be something important going on in Arkansas. We're not really sure either way, but our lack of knowledge is very interesting to us. We'll bring you the latest in our arbitrary confusion at 7, filling you in with fun facts about Arkansas you probably already heard about. Until then, enjoy this montage of the fifty United States, each presented with a question mark and an arbitrary state fact. Is something happening? You should know that we don't know!"

Hey, I clicked the link and read it anyway. I do enjoy being reminded of interesting rumors, but maybe they should work on their article headlines a bit.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol77 View Post

Next up on CNN: "There may or may not be something important going on in Arkansas. We're not really sure either way, but our lack of knowledge is very interesting to us. We'll bring you the latest in our arbitrary confusion at 7, filling you in with fun facts about Arkansas you probably already heard about. Until then, enjoy this montage of the fifty United States, each presented with a question mark and an arbitrary state fact. Is something happening? You should know that we don't know!"

Hey, I clicked the link and read it anyway. I do enjoy being reminded of interesting rumors, but maybe they should work on their article headlines a bit.

Next up on CNN: "Gulf coast residents still waiting on BP reimbursement."

Nothing happened yet, but the curious pregnant pause is duly notable.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiA View Post

I believe Japan is further ahead with using mobiles for NFC transactions, can anybody comment on how popular it is there?

Very popular in Japan and South Korea.

The driving force of adoption of the "osaifu keitai" (literally "wallet phone") was functionality as a Mobile Suica card for the JR East transit system (which millions of Tokyo-ites use daily).
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiA View Post

All of this talk about NFC in phones but is NFC a big deal now?

My observation in London and the UK is that few people make use of it for payments

Because very few devices support it. You have to create a reason for the terminals to exist before they'll be used. Same with USB. Same with Thunderbolt. We've been through this before.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #17 of 24
It's interesting coz it provides insight into what others are doing, especially Google. If all the other major players are on board Apple will follow sooner rather than later.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

It's interesting coz it provides insight into what others are doing, especially Google. If all the other major players are on board Apple will follow sooner rather than later.

HOW'S THAT BLU-RAY DRIVE TREATING YOU?

Apple has been on the Blu-ray board since inception (not the movie, the word). I'm sure it was just to see what kind of crap Sony would pull with Blu-ray integration, which when Apple saw, they decided never to support.

Apple generally leads. As long as there's only ONE type of NFC in use, they'll just adopt that whenever they please.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #19 of 24
Apple should just stop cautiously surveying the market and throw things at the wall to see what sticks, like Google. Their metered, cautious, methodical approach hinders the ability of impatient people like me to jump onto the next big thing regardless of how bad next big thing is.

I guess Apple's motto is not "Build it and they will come," but rather, "They will come when we build it."
post #20 of 24
That's Apple's modus operandi. When you're leading, you only need to go fast enough to win. When you're trailing, you need to go as fast as possible.

Apple isn't in any great hurry to add NFC to iOS devices. They'll let Google make glaring mistakes, in public, with their half-thought-out beta projects. Like Wave. And Google TV. Meanwhile, Apple is quietly testing, refining, and perfecting their solution. Privately.

Apple doesn't need to rush beta products out. They release fully-formed solutions that crush everyone else's.

"Painful living in fear, isn't it?"
- Leon Kowalski, "Blade Runner" (1982)

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Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apple generally leads.

No they don't. They see which way the wind is blowing, what products are popular and make a product that is much better than the current offerings. It's what the Japanese used to do so well a few years ago.

Apple didn't invent the smartphone, the PDA, the mp3 player, etc. They didn't even invent the concept of an App Store. I had a Palm PDA with access to thousands of downlaodable Apps in the 1990's. It's not new just better. It's a smart and very profitable business strategy. Good luck to them but someone has to invent new stuff otherwise we would all still be living in caves.

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. Benjamin Franklin

PS Not sure what Blu Ray has to do with anything. Good luck watching 1080p movies on your Apple TV. Oh wait you can't can you. Shame.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

PS Not sure what Blu Ray has to do with anything.

Quote:
If all the other major players are on board Apple will follow sooner rather than later.

Apple hasn't. That's the point. Your statement was wrong.

Quote:
Good luck watching 1080p movies on your Apple TV. Oh wait you can't can you. Shame.

Not sure what's wrong with your Apple TV, but mine works just fine.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apple hasn't. That's the point. Your statement was wrong.



Not sure what's wrong with your Apple TV, but mine works just fine.

It's being upscaled. Apple TV's maximum playable resolution is 720P. Also, none of the content from Apple is 1080P.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by q2h View Post

It's being upscaled. Apple TV's maximum playable resolution is 720P. Also, none of the content from Apple is 1080P.

Yes, I know that. You act like it's impossible for the Apple TV to output 1080p files, much less play them.

I know none of the content from Apple is 1080p. Pro Tip: Apple isn't the only source for video content. Some of us rip our HD DVDs to iTunes. They work perfectly well.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple's plans for NFC e-wallet in future iPhone remain 'unknown'