When iOS 11 launches later this year, iPhone owners can enjoy more options when it comes to near-field communication (NFC). NFC is already used on the iPhone for contactless payment with Apple Pay. Apple has opened up the system to developers with the release of Core NFC, which will allow apps to detect and read NFC tags.
Apple fans have waited a long time for NFC and now they will have to wait even longer to know what else it can do besides drive mobile payments. An Apple spokeswoman told Cult of Mac that the "NFC chip on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is only for use with Apple Pay."
Apple doesn't plan to advertise NFC as a major feature for its new devices and will keep it locked off from third-party developers for at least a year. This means even though the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have NFC, Apple fans will still be left out of all the NFC fun teased in Samsung commercials.
It has never been a question of if, but rather when Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) would embrace mobile payments and develop its own digital wallet. Since the iPhone 6 was first announced, many industry analysts have speculated that the new handset would incorporate an NFC chip to facilitate mobile payments; now the Wall Street Journal agrees, not only for the iPhone, but for the iWatch as well.
In Thursday's report, WSJ writers Greg Bensinger, Lorraine Luk and Daisuke Wakabayashi wrote that both as yet unannounced devices would incorporate near field communications (NFC) technology. According to sources close to Apple, "NFC wireless is central to Apple's plans to incorporate so-called tap-to-pay into its mobile devices, allowing users to pay for goods and services using credit cards stored with iTunes."
It may not be the first time we've heard about Apple considering Near Field Communication (NFC) for a future iPhone, and it won't be the last. The technology has the potential to make paying for things as easy as passing your device near a wireless NFC cash register. Patently Apple has uncovered a recent NFC patent filed by the company in December 2011.
The premise of the patent is that iPhone owners could use NFC technology to easily share music with their friends or family. The process would work by allowing the user to wirelessly send a gift such as a song to a nearby iPhone. Sharing from the iTunes playlist would cost money, which would then be deducted from the gift giver's account.
PayPal is taking a new step into the smartphone arena with an iPhone accessory designed to accept payments anywhere there's a data connection. When we first wrote up competitor Square in 2009, the concept of a small device that plugs into the headphone jack and accepts credit card data was a work in progress.
The latest entry into the market is dubbed PayPal Here, and moves PayPal's services even further into the offline, brick and mortar world of commerce. Not only does PayPal's device and software swipe credit cards, but merchants can process checks using the iPhone camera, track cash payments or send invoices out for later payment.