Apple's next iPhone not expected to feature NFC technology

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A pair of new reports suggest that Apple's next-generation iPhone is unlikely to have near-field communication technology that would allow for e-wallet functionality.

This week, AnandTech offered a closer look at rumors surrounding Apple's anticipated sixth-generation iPhone. Because the new handset is expected to include a primarily metal backside, they concluded that NFC functionality — sometimes known as radio frequency identification, or RFID — is "unlikely" to appear in Apple's next handset.

That conclusion was supported on Tuesday by Jim Dalrymple of The Loop, who offered a succinct "Yep" in response to the analysis done by Brian Klug and Anand Lal Shimpi.

Speculation that Apple could add NFC functionality to a future iPhone has persisted for years, but picked up steam earlier this year following the unveiling of iOS 6 and its new "Passbook" application. The new native application will contain users' personal items, like airplane boarding passes, store discount cards, and tickets to a sporting event.

Apple's chief rival in the mobile space, Google, has offered an e-wallet feature since mid-2011. Many Android-based smartphones available on the market today feature NFC technology that allows use of the Google Wallet "tap to pay" service.

NFC chip


Just this week, components claimed to be from Apple's still-unannounced sixth-generation iPhone showed a mystery component that some speculated could be an NFC chip. However, AnandTech concluded this week that it's more likely that the component could be a touch and display controller combination that would power Apple's new rumored in-cell touchscreen.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 100
    mauszmausz Posts: 242member


    The Anandtech article is a really good analysis of what to expect based on history, I do hope they are wrong on some points though.


     


    Would love to see Apple release an A15 based A6 SoC, or maybe using the Qualcomm S4.

  • Reply 2 of 100


    Their analysis is flawed, driver circuitry for the in-cell panel will be on the main circuit board, not mounted seperately on the back under a glass or plastic (probably glass) panel.


     


    I'm not saying what we're looking at is definitely NFC, but their explanation is bull.

  • Reply 3 of 100
    lamewinglamewing Posts: 742member


    This doesn't surprise me in the least. Apple spoon feeds capabilities to their customers while others provide these capabilities more quickly. In the long run it won't matter because people who buy Apple products are used to this process and/or don't care.

  • Reply 4 of 100
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 985member


    It is just me, but Im not big on the phone being the sole source for authorization to pay for things... just call me Mr Luddite!


    IMO - need two seperate authorization 'devices'. Say a key fob in my pocket would be one, then a code(or finger reader etc) on the phone....  I know, cumbersome, but Im paranoid and some say dilusional too. :)

  • Reply 5 of 100
    mauszmausz Posts: 242member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by daMoog View Post


    Their analysis is flawed, driver circuitry for the in-cell panel will be on the main circuit board, not mounted seperately on the back under a glass or plastic (probably glass) panel.


     


    I'm not saying what we're looking at is definitely NFC, but their explanation is bull.



     


    Their explanation of what it might be might be flawed, but they do bring up some good points regarding the antenna needed for NFC, and why this specific chip is not NFC.

  • Reply 6 of 100


    I'm not sure if the back case can be the antenna...that metal looks like it'd be pushed against the back. Another possibility is using the case as a heat sink?

     

  • Reply 7 of 100


    Okay. I bought the 4s for better camera, faster CPU, and Siri. An iPhone 5 with just a larger screen doesn't offer anything worth upgrading to. Apple's success depends now on innovations that are truly innovative. The iPhone had a several year head start on other vendors so they could, and probably had to, make modest improvements over the years. Now, however, there is real competition for that market, requiring both more rapid innovation while maintaining high quality. It's a big order for Apple, but they have to deliver. 

  • Reply 8 of 100
    gustavgustav Posts: 817member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post


    Okay. I bought the 4s for better camera, faster CPU, and Siri. An iPhone 5 with just a larger screen doesn't offer anything worth upgrading to. Apple's success depends now on innovations that are truly innovative. The iPhone had a several year head start on other vendors so they could, and probably had to, make modest improvements over the years. Now, however, there is real competition for that market, requiring both more rapid innovation while maintaining high quality. It's a big order for Apple, but they have to deliver. 



     


    Is NFC worth upgrading to? Retail outlets won't be ready for years to come (so why not wait until then), and NFC does not solve a problem that hasn't been solved by barcode scanning.

  • Reply 9 of 100


    There are places where NFC would be a competitive advantage. Starbucks comes to mind...

     

  • Reply 10 of 100


    We haven't expected NFC since it was ruled out because of it's lack of safety features.

  • Reply 11 of 100

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post


    It is just me, but Im not big on the phone being the sole source for authorization to pay for things... just call me Mr Luddite!


    IMO - need two seperate authorization 'devices'. Say a key fob in my pocket would be one, then a code(or finger reader etc) on the phone....  I know, cumbersome, but Im paranoid and some say dilusional too. :)



    What do the other voices say?

  • Reply 12 of 100
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    mausz wrote: »
    Their explanation of what it might be might be flawed, but they do bring up some good points regarding the antenna needed for NFC, and why this specific chip is not NFC.

    Maybe, but I'm not convinced about their analysis.

    Essentially, their argument is that a small antenna requires that the device be in close contact with the receiver and the two be aligned more precisely. Frankly, if I were going to use NFC on my phone at all, I would definitely WANT a short reception zone. The thought of someone being able to harvest information (or charge my account) simply by walking near me is scary. It SHOULD have a very short reception zone, so I don't see Anand's concerns as a negative.
  • Reply 13 of 100
    hodarhodar Posts: 226member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post


    It is just me, but Im not big on the phone being the sole source for authorization to pay for things... just call me Mr Luddite!


    IMO - need two seperate authorization 'devices'. Say a key fob in my pocket would be one, then a code(or finger reader etc) on the phone....  I know, cumbersome, but Im paranoid and some say dilusional too. :)



    There is also the rumor of a fingerprint scanner being embedded in the home key.  So, swipe your fingerprint and then use NFC to purchase things.  I'd be happy with that verification plan.

  • Reply 14 of 100
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member


    NFC is easily the most unimportant upgrade to an iPhone for me. Taking out my credit card from my wallet is not actually a big hassle for me. Also different cards run different promotions. Sometimes Discover offers 5% cash back for gas and groceries or Amex might double the cash back for local restaurants. 


     


    I would like Apple to include more bluetooth profiles for file transfers. I would also like some sort of notification for missed calls or texts. A flashing LED is surely a better way than the current method which makes you turn the phone on and view the screen to see if you got a call or text. They wouldn't necessarily have to use the flashing LED, but they need some method to let us know about missed calls and texts. I would also like the ability to change my wallpaper for each screen. The reason for that is it would make it a lot easier to differentiate between them all when scrolling between them quickly. Yeah, NFC is pretty low on my list for features. 

  • Reply 15 of 100

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lamewing View Post


    This doesn't surprise me in the least. Apple spoon feeds capabilities to their customers while others provide these capabilities more quickly. In the long run it won't matter because people who buy Apple products are used to this process and/or don't care.



     


    tell me how many NFS PoS systems are out there... it's less spoonfeeding than waiting for infrastructure is in place for the critical masses before deploying.    LTE was like this, 3G was like this, camera was like this, Siri was like this , etc.  Apple, with some stumbles (antenna, mobileme), tries to deliver 'great' systems, with minimal growing/early-adopter pain.


     


    That said, I wished they could have pushed this a bit...  Partner with Starbucks, JC Penney, or whomever.  but my guess the big thing is the PCI stuff (think VISA/MC/AMEX et al wants to have an Apple ID in between the buyer and the seller?)

  • Reply 16 of 100

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gustav View Post


     


    Is NFC worth upgrading to? Retail outlets won't be ready for years to come (so why not wait until then), and NFC does not solve a problem that hasn't been solved by barcode scanning.



    This...NFC is not worth it right now. There are too many standards, it is insecure, and hardly any retailer (outside Japan) uses it.


     


    My issue is that, at least in the US, Apple is the one company that can change this. Google pushed NFC a year ago, and it has barely made a difference. The same won't be true of Apple. If Apple pushes NFC, retailers will follow.


     


    Creating markets is what Apple is good at. NFC is a real opportunity for them here, and I find it frustrating that they are wasting it. Passbook is a good first step, but NFC could add a lot to it.

  • Reply 17 of 100
    Wish Apple would just go ahead and put NFC on the next iPhone to future proof it. NFC can be used for other than e-wallets..
  • Reply 18 of 100
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    lamewing wrote: »
    This doesn't surprise me in the least. Apple spoon feeds capabilities to their customers while others provide these capabilities more quickly. In the long run it won't matter because people who buy Apple products are used to this process and/or don't care.

    Translation:
    Apple doesn't cram useless features into their devices until there is real world utility in them, while others shovel useless half-baked technology into theirs. In the long run it won't matter because people who buy Apple products don't care whether they have features that don't do anything for them.
  • Reply 19 of 100
    bighypebighype Posts: 148member


    NFC is insecure. iPhone 5 has a BLE chip.


     


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth_low_energy


     


    NFC is dead.

  • Reply 20 of 100
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    tell me how many NFS PoS systems are out there... it's less spoonfeeding than waiting for infrastructure is in place for the critical masses before deploying.    LTE was like this, 3G was like this, camera was like this, Siri was like this , etc.  Apple, with some stumbles (antenna, mobileme), tries to deliver 'great' systems, with minimal growing/early-adopter pain.

    That said, I wished they could have pushed this a bit...  Partner with Starbucks, JC Penney, or whomever.  but my guess the big thing is the PCI stuff (think VISA/MC/AMEX et al wants to have an Apple ID in between the buyer and the seller?)

    Okay. I bought the 4s for better camera, faster CPU, and Siri. An iPhone 5 with just a larger screen doesn't offer anything worth upgrading to. Apple's success depends now on innovations that are truly innovative. The iPhone had a several year head start on other vendors so they could, and probably had to, make modest improvements over the years. Now, however, there is real competition for that market, requiring both more rapid innovation while maintaining high quality. It's a big order for Apple, but they have to deliver. 

    gustav wrote: »
    Is NFC worth upgrading to? Retail outlets won't be ready for years to come (so why not wait until then), and NFC does not solve a problem that hasn't been solved by barcode scanning.

    addicted44 wrote: »
    This...NFC is not worth it right now. There are too many standards, it is insecure, and hardly any retailer (outside Japan) uses it.

    My issue is that, at least in the US, Apple is the one company that can change this. Google pushed NFC a year ago, and it has barely made a difference. The same won't be true of Apple. If Apple pushes NFC, retailers will follow.

    Creating markets is what Apple is good at. NFC is a real opportunity for them here, and I find it frustrating that they are wasting it. Passbook is a good first step, but NFC could add a lot to it.

    Every iPhone needs its wow feature and from the looks of what we've seen on the 6th gen, I'm not seeing anything that really pops that's gonna make people lust after the phone.

    NFC + Apple's ecosystem and infastructure could have been (could still be since we don't know) the feature that makes people want an iPhone. Game changing is what people would call it if Apple did it right.

    As of now if NFC is off the table we better see some jaw drop features on the phone at the event that make us all wanna RUN to the nearest Apple store.
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