“Over the weekend it was reported that Apple hired Benjamin Vigier, an expert in near field communication (NFC), a short range wireless protocol most synonymous with contactless payments,” Steve Cheney reports for TechCrunch. “This key Apple hire is perhaps the strongest public signal yet of Apple’s intent to use NFC to build on its micropayments franchise and disrupt traditional point of sale using a mobile commerce model.”
“There is no doubt that Apple wants to enable native support for mobile payments and authentication—its myriad of patents and installed base of 100M active iTunes accounts with credit cards on file make this a no-brainer,” Cheney reports. “But I’ve learned of an even more revealing sign that Apple will integrate the technology—sources tell me that Apple has built NFC-enabled iPhone prototypes using hardware from NXP Semiconductor, and is testing mobile payments today… And though my sources say Apple is currently testing NFC chipsets from NXP, it’s highly possible that Apple chooses technology from Broadcom.”
Cheney reports, “The existence of prototypes would almost surely suggest that Apple will include NFC in iPhone 5, or whatever Apple decides to call its next iPhone… Short range wireless also has compelling use-cases beyond commerce, and it’s clear Apple is thinking of integrating NFC into its Apple TV and MacBook lines to transfer data between devices at high speeds. Imagine freshly-snapped photos from an iPhone 5 transferred instantaneously to a new iTV device by placing the devices close together for a few seconds.”
Cheney reports, “In fact, Apple’s patents say a lot about its ‘hardware network-effects’ strategy and how NFC could accelerate sales for Apple—iPhone 5 users would be more likely to buy an iTV and vice versa… Proximity-based integration with iAd is another potential gold mine for Apple. Think of the power of serving ads, coupons and loyalty awards based on presence.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brian S.” for the heads up.]