Why omitting NFC in iPhone 5 should work out just fine for Apple

“When Apple revealed its new Passbook mobile payment system as part of the iOS 6 preview in June, many industry watchers expected the addition of near-field communications capability on the next version of the iPhone that would compliment Passbook,” Brian Proffitt reports for ReadWriteWeb. “That new iPhone is here, but there’s no NFC feature in sight. The question now is Apple being shrewd, or is it about to miss out on a real opportunity?”

Proffitt reports, “In an interview with All Things Digital, Phil Schiller, Apple senior VP, revealed that Apple’s decision to leave out NFC was based very much on Passbook: ‘It’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem, Schiller said. “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today.'”

“This is not to say NFC will never happen. It’s very much coming,” Proffitt reports. “But Apple seems to be pacing its own hardware development to match that of real-world NFC deployment.”

Read more in the full article here.

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  1. I think Apple intends to couple NFC usage to a fingerprint scanner in future iPhones. It would be a good security feature. The phones that lack biometric authentication will be targets for NFC fraud.

  2. A couple of years ago at DefCon some hackers set up a table on the convention floor and displayed on a giant screen the “sterilized” personal information they snooped from devices with RFID in them. The thing was that those devises were not special demo units, they were in the pockets of unsuspecting con goers that walked within 90 feet of their table.

    RFID is only supposed to be readable from up to 3 feet.

    I for one will not use any tech that permanently links my personal and financial info to a radio device.

    If you make it, they will hack.

      1. Indeed, however Bluetooth 4.0 has in-built security features that require confirmation of data transfer. RFID does not. Not sure about NFC on top of RFID.

        That isn’t to say that Bluetooth 4.0 or the OS using it wouldn’t have a security hole, but the OS prompting you to approve a data connection via Bluetooth is an integral piece of the puzzle that RFID lacks.

  3. Some standards such as NFC and their implementation will be influenced by what the World will do with NFC. Word is that NFC is alive and well in Japan and other Asian countries so time will tell. I have it in my work issued BB Bold 9900 and the only time I use it is with NFC tap capable devices. No use for it commercially as of yet in Canada.

  4. NFC has seldom worked for me. I have a CC that I try to use on a NFC payment reader wherever I see one. It has worked maybe three times in two years. Unless they make the hardware more reliable, NFC in retail ain’t going nowhere.

  5. NFC is a waste of time and space. WHY would you use it when you can reach for your wallet and use a credit card, debit card, or….wait for it… cold hard CASH.
    NFC is NFG. Easily hacked, no need for actual theft or contact, just stroll by and get all the info.

    Supporters of NFC will line up to have chips implanted in their heads.

  6. NFC is not catching on in the U.S. and won’t. If it were so great, it would have received more than lip service by now.

    Apple’s Passbook app and Starbuck’s app provide password security, which is much better than NFC constantly broadcasting payment information to anyone with a scanner.

  7. London is to be the first city in the world to convert its entire public transport network to accepting contactless payment cards (NFC). We used a prepaid travel card for Tube, Docklands Light Railway, London Overground bus network and Javelin Bullet Train to the Olympic Village.  Japan has been using it for years.  My car’s keyless ignition uses it so it may be the future.

    1. My colleague paid our taxi fare using NFC on her credit card in London yesterday. Seems the US is lagging behind rest of world on this one. It’such easier than entering a PIN

  8. John, London has been using NFC on it’s public transport network for some years, called Oyster. I live 100 miles away, but I have one in my Jimi wallet for when I go up to the city for a gig or exhibition, had it for two or three years now, very handy.
    There’s no sign of similar tech being introduced for consumer purposes in shops or whatever, anytime soon, in fact if you asked 5000 people in the street about shopping with NFC tech, I reckon 90+% would look at you blankly.
    Apple don’t need it in their phones until there’s some global consensus about its introduction.
    A bit like QR codes, the Japanese invented them in 1992, have been using them for many years, but it’s only in the last two that I’ve seen any widespread use of them.

    1. @Rorschach

      There’s plenty of NFC tills about in the UK if you look. I got a contact less card from my bank the other month, and found that a number of chainsr use it for small transactions – Mcdonalds for example (great at the drive-thru when I took my kids on holiday) and even (GET THIS) the fuddy duddy old National Trust tearooms…

      1. But even such, I could just as easily whip out my credit card at McDonalds and hand it over. Is NFC really that much more useful than what we have available already? Seems like a solution looking for a problem.

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