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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 31
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    Hmmm, so how does Apple's 30 percent cut come into play?



    <sarcasm>
  • Reply 3 of 31
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 31
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,232member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 31
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,198member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 31
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,232member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 31
    It is. Or it is not.



    Ok, that's out of the way.
  • Reply 8 of 31
    alienzedalienzed Posts: 393member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 31
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,881member
    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!
  • Reply 10 of 31
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 31
    sennensennen Posts: 1,465member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 31
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,232member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 31
    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"
  • Reply 14 of 31
    macslutmacslut Posts: 514member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 31
    blah64blah64 Posts: 896member
    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!!
  • Reply 16 of 31
    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?
  • Reply 17 of 31
    irelandireland Posts: 17,527member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 31
    irelandireland Posts: 17,527member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    irelandireland Posts: 17,527member
    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
  • Reply 20 of 31
    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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