Originally Posted by cwoloszynski
Could apple be intending to use BT4.0 as the comms path to the terminal instead of NFC?
Absolutely! Apple seems poised to utilize Bluetooth 4.0 as their mobile payment solution rather than NFC:
- Apple generates revenue from sales of hardware, in fact, hardware sales comprise approximately 92% of Apple net sales. Apple will almost certainly use their mobile payment solution as a means to generate more hardware sales rather than compete against competitors and merchants who want a percentage of sales. Thus, Bluetooth would integrate immediately with existing Apple products (many used by merchants using Apple products as a point-of-sale presence) while competitors scramble to compete.
- Apple filed several patents apparently related to the new Passbook feature (the so-called "iTravel" and "iWallet" patents) beginning in 2008 which demonstrates that Apple has been considering this problem for an extended period of time and likely has a mature solution.
- Apple joined the board of directors of Bluetooth Special Interest Group in 2011.
- Apple included Bluetooth 4.0 in both the new iPad and iPhone 4S. Apple is known to test new features in small volumes or ship products with features deactivated until they are confident with the feature.
- Despite comments to the contrary, Bluetooth 4.0 has more than sufficient features to a support mobile payment solution, including: Elliptic Curve Diffie Hellman (ECDH) public key exchange (protects against passive eavesdropping) with numerical comparison (with 95 bits of entropy using the P192 elliptic curve using 16 decimal digit numbers (2(53) providing low probability of success) or passkey entry (with 6 digits) (protects against Man-in-the-Middle attacks). Furthermore, Bluetooth may use AES-CCM encryption. Fingerprint sensor authentication would provide strong two-factor authentication for Bluetooth Short Range Financial Transactions.
- Another consideration is the rollout of new security measures for iTunes earlier this year.
- Interestingly, Apple made a bid for mobile and network security provider AuthenTec. Apple previously paid $20 million for the "right to acquire non-exclusive licenses and certain other rights with respect to hardware technology, software technology and patents of the Company" including "commercialization of 2D fingerprint sensors for use in or with Apple products," with an option to extend the licensing agreement perpetually for $115 million. Apple also spent $7.5 million for AuthenTec to "perform certain non-recurring engineering services."
- Notably, no NFC component manufacturer has announced or speculated (in quarterly reports) about a large, new contract this year.
- Despite numerous rumors regarding the iPhone 5, no mention of a marquee feature for the iPhone 5 has been made. A functional mobile payment solution would certainly be a marquee feature.
Originally Posted by NelsonX
I agree. Almost every new phone these days has NFC, almost every day I read news about NFC alliances between banks and telecoms starting to deploy NFC in different countries. Apple is missing this train and I'm not gone stand waiting for them. When I bought my iPhone 4 two yeas ago I thought that I will buy every year the most advance mobile computer on the planet, the spearhead of technology, the device of the future! Instead it appears I bought a device from a company whose sole preoccupation is how to sell the phone at a price as high as they can and to upgrade it as little as they can, and trying to convince people that it is "magic". Now, I'm sorry that I have invested a lot in all kind of apps. But it's never too late to leave this boat! Lumia 920 will probably be my next phone if the iPhone 5 will be as "advanced" as it appears to be!
I have never seen anyone in the United States pay using NFC on their smartphone despite formerly living in Silicon Valley. A late-to-the-party but functional version of a mobile payment solution is much more likely from Apple. I have a considerable number of family and friends who reside near Tokyo, Japan and not one of them has ever used NFC on their phones (except for some train terminals). The rumors of NFC ubiquity in Japan are vastly overstated.
1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Scorpion with 1 GB RAM
Qualcomm Adreno 220
8 MP rear camera
216 ppi display
1.5 GHz dual-core Krait with 2 GB RAM
Qualcomm Adreno 225
8 MP rear camera
306 ppi display
The preceding specifications are for the Samsung Galaxy S II and Samsung Galaxy S 3. The difference in specifications is barely noticeable other than the display which wasn't improved until nearly one year after Apple released the iPhone 4. This is the state of technology. There won't be any massive upgrades until manufacturers are ready to deploy ARM Cortex A-15 processors, PowerVR SEries 6 (Rogue) graphics processors, 802.11ac and LTE Advanced baseband processors.
Apple is almost certain to be one of the first to sell smartphones designed with the ARM Cortex A9 architecture using a 28nm or 32 nm process which will dramatically improve efficiency and performance.
Apple is almost certain to be one of the first to sell smartphones with the third generation Qualcomm MDM9615 baseband processor built using a 28 nm process which improves efficiency and performance.
Apple uses mature technologies once Apple has considered the actual real-world use of technologies and can leverage technology to provide an advantage not only for Apple but for Apple consumers.
NFC offers few, if any, real advantages to consumers at this time.