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Apple's 'iPhone 6' to supposedly incorporate NFC, new secure enclave for mobile payments

post #1 of 47
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Building on rumors that Apple will release an iOS-based mobile payments solution with its next-generation "iPhone 6," the well-connected John Gruber claims the new handset will feature NFC hardware and a new secure enclave to store credit card information.

Purported 'iPhone 6' and iPhone 5s logic boards compared. | Source: Nowhereelse.fr


In a missive posted to his Daring Fireball blog, Gruber says Apple's upcoming iPhone lineup will not only sport near-field communication (NFC) hardware for facilitating on-the-go payments, but will boast a specially-designed security "enclave" for storing payment credentials.

I've been working on a new joke -- about NFC and a new secure enclave where you can store your credit cards, so you can pay for things at brick and mortar retail stores just by taking out your iPhone, but only if it's one of the new iPhones -- but no one seems to get my sense of humor.


The post comes just hours after Wired issued a report framing NFC as "one of the hallmark features" of Apple's next iPhone.

Supposedly backing up these rumors are purported "iPhone 6" schematics and component "leaks" that suggest support for an NFC-compliant chip.

NFC has for years been rumored for inclusion in Apple's iPhone, but the technology has yet to show up in a production model. With the iPhone 5, for example, industry watchers jumped on a batch of photos revealing an unknown component attached to the phone's logic board, claiming it was clear evidence of NFC support. The part turned out to be a high-resolution ear speaker.

Apple is experimenting with NFC, as can be seen in a multitude of patents, but as SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said in a 2012 interview, the company is more concerned about user experience than shoehorning in the latest tech just because it can. At the time, Schiller said Passbook covered the bases for consumers. It should be noted, however, that the payments landscape is quickly changing.

As for the secure enclave, Apple currently employs a similar component in the iPhone 5s to store data referenced by the Touch ID fingerprint recognition system. According to a security white paper published in February, the enclave is built into Apple's A7 SoC and comes complete with its own secure boot sequence and software update mechanism. Apple says the component is responsible for "all cryptographic operations for Data Protection key management and maintains the integrity of Data Protection even if the kernel has been compromised."

For clarification, Gruber's comments about a "new joke" and "sense of humor" are allusions to a report from Re/code's John Paczkowski, who earlier Thursday cited sources as saying Apple would unveil its long-awaited "iWatch" wearable at its upcoming Sept. 9 special event.

In August, Gruber made a casual remark about Apple's "wrist wearable thing," saying it would launch in September, only to later claim the comment was made in jest. Paczkowski referenced the "joke" in his most recent report.
post #2 of 47
OMG. Really AI? "Clarification" or not, Gruber was totally joking here.
post #3 of 47
So what evidence is there for a *new* enclave for credit card information? And why is an enclave needed at all? Seems to me that the proper place for credit card information is where Apple already stores credit card information - on its servers! Think about it: why would you store your credit cards on an enclave on the iPhone when you might want to be paying with the same credit cards while you're on a Mac or on an iPad? It makes no sense. A more practical approach is for you to pay with a credit card of your choice *after* you authenticated with TouchID.

Besides - if Apple wants to get into the mobile payment arena, why would it exclude the 500 million iOS devices already out there and only allow mobile payments via the new devices. Again, it makes no sense.

Even if the rumor is from Gruber.
post #4 of 47
I'm curious to see where the NFC receiver will be on the iphone 6. the whole thing is in metal...there are very few potential places left?
post #5 of 47
@tjwolf, Maybe the secure enclave on the iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) involves just the data that connects the Touch ID to the credit card data that Apple also already stores on its servers.
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by sticknick View Post

OMG. Really AI? "Clarification" or not, Gruber was totally joking here.

If you read it in context on his site it is clear he is not joking. Even clearer if you have followed his take on these rumors for a while...
post #7 of 47

WTF. John Gruber is now "well-connected" too?

That gets him into the club with Ming.

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post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjwolf View Post

So what evidence is there for a *new* enclave for credit card information? And why is an enclave needed at all? Seems to me that the proper place for credit card information is where Apple already stores credit card information - on its servers! Think about it: why would you store your credit cards on an enclave on the iPhone when you might want to be paying with the same credit cards while you're on a Mac or on an iPad? It makes no sense. A more practical approach is for you to pay with a credit card of your choice *after* you authenticated with TouchID.

Besides - if Apple wants to get into the mobile payment arena, why would it exclude the 500 million iOS devices already out there and only allow mobile payments via the new devices. Again, it makes no sense.

Even if the rumor is from Gruber.

Because any payment system that relies on your phones Internet connection is doomed to fail. A phone with a secure enclave can be used just like a chipped card.
post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Truffol View Post

I'm curious to see where the NFC receiver will be on the iphone 6. the whole thing is in metal...there are very few potential places left?

This is where the Apple logo cutout may come into play. I don't have a clue if they will have NFC or not, but they could put the antenea under the Apple logo. It gives a nice target for aligning to a reader. We will see soon enough.
post #10 of 47
People didn't get the first joke and are missing it again now. Gruber is not saying NFC will be in the next iPhone. He is joking that he doesn't know one way or the other, just like he wasn't predicting anything with his last joke.

Sigh... People.
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post


Because any payment system that relies on your phones Internet connection is doomed to fail. A phone with a secure enclave can be used just like a chipped card.


Hm, I've been paying my iTunes and Starbucks purchases this way for a few years now - no doom yet!  Doing most of my banking via the smartphone just as well - no trouble either!  Just telling me that such a thing is doomed to fail doesn't convince me.

 

But your second point may be a good one: Apple had been rumored to be in negotiations with credit card companies - perhaps with NFC plus the enclave, they're going to emulate a chipped card.....but where would iPhone users make use of it?  Chipped cards are common in Europe but not in the U.S.  And even in Europe, how would an iPhone emulate a chipped card?  I don't think the sales terminals there use NFC to communicate with the card.  It sounds a bit nebulous to me.

post #12 of 47

Between now and Sept 9, there will be 17 more articles with headlines just like this one.

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post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post


Because any payment system that relies on your phones Internet connection is doomed to fail. A phone with a secure enclave can be used just like a chipped card.

 

And a phone that acts just like a chip card is doomed to fail. If the only thing my phone can do is act like a chip card, then what incentive is there for me to use it instead of my chip cards I already have?

 

Your phones data connection can be just as secure as any other method of transmission. Security lies in the type of data you send, not the medium it's travelling over. CC numbers and personal information can be replaced by tokens and ID numbers that are useless to thieves snooping the airwaves.

post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Truffol View Post

I'm curious to see where the NFC receiver will be on the iphone 6. the whole thing is in metal...there are very few potential places left?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post


This is where the Apple logo cutout may come into play. I don't have a clue if they will have NFC or not, but they could put the antenea under the Apple logo. It gives a nice target for aligning to a reader. We will see soon enough.

 

Every leak we've seen point to the logo being made of metal which would block radio frequencies. And even if it was made of a radio-transparent material, traditional NFC inductors require a larger surface than the Apple logo on the iPhone 6 and can't be made smaller, due to the fundamental nature of wavelengths. 

 

 

 

But Apple recently applied for a patent called "Shared Antenna Structures for Near-Field Communications and Non-Near-Field Communications Circuitry" which uses the top and bottom cell antennas to create an NFC inductor. To me it's quite obvious that this is what they'll do.

 

I wish Apple news sites would do a little more investigative journalism and make an article out of this. (Appleinsider, here's your chance...)

 

 


Edited by VL-Tone - 8/28/14 at 8:52pm
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post


This is where the Apple logo cutout may come into play. I don't have a clue if they will have NFC or not, but they could put the antenea under the Apple logo. It gives a nice target for aligning to a reader. We will see soon enough.


Could it be our eyes deceive us and the case is actually molded plastic? Hmm

C'mon people. The HTC is metal with? NFC

Galaxy S5 is plastic with metal inside and? NFC

post #16 of 47
I'd like to take Apple Insiders Use of Supposedly and Purported and @#$^#%$@(@$()#
post #17 of 47
Give me NFC on an iwatch. To lazy to pull my iphone out of my pocket 1smile.gif
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Faster View Post
 


Could it be our eyes deceive us and the case is actually molded plastic? Hmm

C'mon people. The HTC is metal with? NFC

Galaxy S5 is plastic with metal inside and? NFC

 

The HTC One NFC inductor is apparently around the camera hole, so I guess what I was saying about the Apple logo being too small may not be totally right. But on the other hand, it seems that the HTC One NFC sensor/inductor is notoriously bad, probably because of this.

post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by togan View Post

Give me NFC on an iwatch. To lazy to pull my iphone out of my pocket 1smile.gif

I don't want that. It's not like you put your thumb on the screen for Touch ID to authorize a payment and it gets sent. You'd have to move your wrist over the NFC sensor which, if flat on checkout table probably means flipping your wrist over to make the connection. Maybe the magnetic loop would work around the wrist but that's still seems awkward to me.

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post #20 of 47

Attention-grabbing dudes like John Gruber are really sad pricks.  They know next-to-nothing but are always opening their big yaps and standing on their little soapbox trying to draw a crowd.  If he's got anything to say about mobile payments, he should wait until Apple introduces it on the iPhone.  The rumor-mongers are rather pathetic.

post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
 

WTF. John Gruber is now "well-connected" too?

That gets him into the club with Ming.

Are you being sarcastic? None of Gruber's little birdies have ever been wrong.

post #22 of 47
In the last few weeks, all of the high-end retailers in the SF Bay area have strangely begun to focus their point-of-purchase devices (the things that you swipe your card through) towards NFC. The on-screen messages are directing users towards NFC, tapping the phone, etc.

So NFC in the iPhone is undeniably imminent.
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post #23 of 47

Seems to me that if this info on a secure enclave is true, then Apple has just painted a big bull's-eye on the iPhone 6. Hackers will go after it even if just for bragging rights. Still, Apple does pretty well in the security area and I dare say any hack will probably require physical access to the phone.

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post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

Are you being sarcastic? None of Gruber's little birdies have ever been wrong.

Am I ever not?
Tell you what: any time I'm being serious, I'll add a hint at the end, a slash followed by s for serious, like this: /s

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post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by waybacmac View Post

Seems to me that if this info on a secure enclave is true, then Apple has just painted a big bull's-eye on the iPhone 6. Hackers will go after it even if just for bragging rights. Still, Apple does pretty well in the security area and I dare say any hack will probably require physical access to the phone.

It's been a year and I haven't heard about anyone being able to break into the secure enclave. Even if they were able to do by having the device, it's certainly much safer than having a wallet where your full name, expiration date, CCV number and full CC number is printed directly on the card. In that time it would take them to access that info (assuming they had a way) you could wipe the device, or at least cancel your cards.

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post #26 of 47
I saw one of those NFC terminals you're supposed to kind of wave your card at...once. Years and years ago. At a Jack-in-the-Box, I think. It was gathering dust. I have never, ever, ever, e v e r seen any kind of NFC device used. Ever. NFC is a technology whose time has come and gone, without ever coming. It probably peaked 3 or 4 years ago, if a "peak" that doesn't even move the meter can be called a peak. Yeah, yeah, yeah...Japan, blah, blah, blah...newsflash: This ain't Japan. Sticking an NFC chip in the iPhone just because it's one of the meaningless bullet points Fandroids like to check off would be silly.
post #27 of 47

Quote:

Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It's been a year and I haven't heard about anyone being able to break into the secure enclave.
  • True, but won't the new enclave have a lot more information, mainly credit cards, maybe bank info?
 
Even if they were able to do by having the device, it's certainly much safer than having a wallet where your full name, expiration date, CCV number and full CC number is printed directly on the card.
  • Absolutely!
 
In that time it would take them to access that info (assuming they had a way) you could wipe the device, or at least cancel your cards.
  • I was thinking how cool it would be if the phone could detect someone messing with the internal parts (e.g. disconnecting the battery, etc.) and it auto-destructs the information.

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post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by waybacmac View Post

True, but won't the new enclave have a lot more information, mainly credit cards, maybe bank info?

1) CC and debit info I can see, but not general bank info since that's not what we use to make purchases.

2) I wonder if it's better to store specific card into on the device or use a referential value that can check with Apple's servers for the purchase so even if your device is completely compromised you actual card data is still safe. This would mean having the card data in Apple's cloud which i don't think is better than the secure enclave.
Quote:
I was thinking how cool it would be if the phone could detect someone messing with the internal parts (e.g. disconnecting the battery, etc.) and it auto-destructs the information.

I've read that even the actual Touch ID sensor is unique so you can't simply swap one out for another so I could see that as being a feature. I'm going to say they won't be able to incorporate that but I'd definitely like to see it.

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post #29 of 47
I understood Gruber's comments to be sarcastic -particularly the point about only being able to use one of the new iPhones for any kind of payment system.

Without support for the older devices Apple wouldn't have a large enough install base to persuade any retailers etc. to get on board.

Or maybe I'm wrong. It's all so confusing.
post #30 of 47

Another enclave?  The A8 is turning into India-Bangladesh.

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post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-sochist View Post

I saw one of those NFC terminals you're supposed to kind of wave your card at...once. Years and years ago. At a Jack-in-the-Box, I think. It was gathering dust. I have never, ever, ever, e v e r seen any kind of NFC device used. Ever. NFC is a technology whose time has come and gone, without ever coming. It probably peaked 3 or 4 years ago, if a "peak" that doesn't even move the meter can be called a peak. Yeah, yeah, yeah...Japan, blah, blah, blah...newsflash: This ain't Japan. Sticking an NFC chip in the iPhone just because it's one of the meaningless bullet points Fandroids like to check off would be silly.

 

Seriously? Where do you live? In Vancouver there are more such terminals every day. They're awesome! Just tap your card and walk away. No PIN required under a certain limit -- a couple hundred bucks for me, may vary by customer or card issuer, I don't know. The bank covers me if someone steals or compromises the card.

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post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

 

Seriously? Where do you live? In Vancouver there are more such terminals every day. They're awesome! Just tap your card and walk away. No PIN required under a certain limit -- a couple hundred bucks for me, may vary by customer or card issuer, I don't know. The bank covers me if someone steals or compromises the card.

 



They're becoming more popular here in the UK but the payment limit is pretty low, something like £30. They have them at the petrol station I go to, but thanks to our ridiculously high fuel prices you can't fill your tank for less than the limit.
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

At the time [2012], Schiller said Passbook covered the bases for consumers.

 

Could be, but a product with such an incredibly narrow scope and even narrower customer awareness isn't what I'd call a "win" for iPhone owners.

 

Seriously, outside of a few regulars on this forum, how many people do you know who even know what Passbook is, what it does, and how it works? I'm mentally going through a list of people I know, looking for those I think are likely to be familiar with Passbook. I come up with zero, and lots of those people are not only very tech-aware but are also voracious mobile device consumers.

 

Maybe Passbook will evolve, but at this point, despite Apple's efforts to bring value to it, it doesn't seem to be much more than a novelty for the majority of users (IMHO, of course).

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post #34 of 47

I've used Passbok twice, once for a cinema ticket, and once for an Apple Gift Card, and the experience was petty good, but in it's current form it has niche appeal.

 

Checking the Apps For Passbook area of the App Store, it's dominated by travel, and mainly airways, so frequent flyers probably get a lot of use out of it, but the majority aren't frequent flyers.

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post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-sochist View Post

I saw one of those NFC terminals you're supposed to kind of wave your card at...once. Years and years ago. At a Jack-in-the-Box, I think. It was gathering dust. I have never, ever, ever, e v e r seen any kind of NFC device used. Ever. NFC is a technology whose time has come and gone, without ever coming. It probably peaked 3 or 4 years ago, if a "peak" that doesn't even move the meter can be called a peak. Yeah, yeah, yeah...Japan, blah, blah, blah...newsflash: This ain't Japan. Sticking an NFC chip in the iPhone just because it's one of the meaningless bullet points Fandroids like to check off would be silly.

NFC is extremely common here. More terminals have them than not. There's a limit to payment but beyond that limit, you're asked to enter your pin.

We've just progressed to pin only, you're unable to sign transactions anymore. NFC is the next step and I expect it to be ubiquitous here soon rather than later.

Australia btw.
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Attention-grabbing dudes like John Gruber are really sad pricks.  They know next-to-nothing but are always opening their big yaps and standing on their little soapbox trying to draw a crowd.  If he's got anything to say about mobile payments, he should wait until Apple introduces it on the iPhone.  The rumor-mongers are rather pathetic.

Sounds like you dumped AAPL at the bottom and missed the rise to all time highs. Poor you.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

NFC is extremely common here. More terminals have them than not. There's a limit to payment but beyond that limit, you're asked to enter your pin.

We've just progressed to pin only, you're unable to sign transactions anymore. NFC is the next step and I expect it to be ubiquitous here soon rather than later.

Australia btw.

NFC may still have problems finding acceptance in the US, especially since recent data intrusions such as the one at Target is still fresh in the minds of the public.

Personally, any place (other than online, obviously) that will not take cash I will refuse to patronize. Cash is still the fastest anonymous way to shop. I don't want my every living and breathing moment recorded to benefit a seller or advertiser, TBH.

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post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-sochist View Post

I saw one of those NFC terminals you're supposed to kind of wave your card at...once. Years and years ago. At a Jack-in-the-Box, I think. It was gathering dust. I have never, ever, ever, e v e r seen any kind of NFC device used. Ever. NFC is a technology whose time has come and gone, without ever coming. It probably peaked 3 or 4 years ago, if a "peak" that doesn't even move the meter can be called a peak. Yeah, yeah, yeah...Japan, blah, blah, blah...newsflash: This ain't Japan. Sticking an NFC chip in the iPhone just because it's one of the meaningless bullet points Fandroids like to check off would be silly.

In DFW they are all over the place.  Not sure where you live.  So I disagree completely.

 

Where I do agree- is that I never see them being used.  And the reason you haven't ever seen them used?  Apple hasn't put one in the iPhone.  The day they do that, the day you'll see it used all the time.

 

Then we'll hear the typical android call of "We could do that 4 years ago".  And our retort will be "ya- but no one did or cared".  Both of which will be true.

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post #39 of 47
metal?

The new phone will be made of transparent aluminum

Originally by Rickers - 2014 : Cook & will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost so long.


History reduce Apple Watch.... to a footnote in the annals of technology - Benjamin Frost Dec 2014



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Originally by Rickers - 2014 : Cook & will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost so long.


History reduce Apple Watch.... to a footnote in the annals of technology - Benjamin Frost Dec 2014



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post #40 of 47

omg some used the U word. Instant death to the heathen...

Originally by Rickers - 2014 : Cook & will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost so long.


History reduce Apple Watch.... to a footnote in the annals of technology - Benjamin Frost Dec 2014



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Originally by Rickers - 2014 : Cook & will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost so long.


History reduce Apple Watch.... to a footnote in the annals of technology - Benjamin Frost Dec 2014



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