Not For Commerce: As Apple declines support, more retailers drop NFC

“For years, Apple pundits’ favorite game was to guess when the iPhone would finally support NFC, or Near Field Communication. If only Apple would support NFC, then mobile payments would take off, and we could finally stop paying cash and credit cards,” Ben Zigterman reports for BGR. “But Apple never did support NFC and it appears it made the right decision: According to GigaOm, major retailers Best Buy and 7-Eleven are ditching their NFC sensors in their stores. ”

“…The biggest blow to NFC has been Apple’s refusal to adopt it on the iPhone,” Fitchard reports. “Retailers are unlikely to put their muscle behind a payment option that the most popular phone in the United States does not support. While Android may have higher marketshare than iOS, iPhone users are typically wealthier and more willing to spend money.”

“n addition, Apple has been hinting for a while that it may have a mobile payments solution of its own. With iOS 6, Apple launched Passbook, an application to collect gift cards, tickets, and other passes. And with iOS 7, Apple added AirDrop, which allows users to transfer various types of data between iOS devices. Apple has also supported Bluetooth LE since the iPhone 4S, and with iOS 7, it introduced iBeacon, a system for interacting with nearby iOS devices. iBeacon has already received a surprising amount of support from large retailers, including in Apple’s own stores,” Fitchard reports. “While none of these are a mobile payments solution on their own, they certainly point to a potential iWallet down the road.”

MacDailyNews Note: Plus, Touch ID, of course.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple customers are retailers’ Holy Grail. If Apple says NFC stands for “Not For Commerce,” then NFC will have to find another raison d’être or die.

Related articles:
Apple leads, the rest follow: Google dumps NFC requirement in Google Wallet app – September 18, 2013
Apple’s NFC killer: iOS 7′s iBeacons – September 11, 2013
iBeacons may prove to be Apple’s biggest new feature for iOS 7 – August 29, 2013
Apple v. Android: Bang per watt – Apple’s massive advantage – August 13, 2013
Apple’s Passbook strategy eschews NFC hardware to power iOS 6 retail apps – September 4, 2012


  1. NFC is junk anyway. I’ve had my identity stolen twice because my bank sent me new debit cards with NFC in it without telling me about it. Leave NFC to the virus-ridden android users, who enjoy other useless wreckage.

  2. Apple recognized what very few others did… too many groups thought they were owed the fees from NFC transactions…
    We have:
    – Carriers
    – Handset manufactureres
    – SIM card makers
    – Credit Card associations and of course
    – the Banks

    Each group believed that they owned the customer and therefore they deserved at least 50% of the gross fee income. It’s been that way for at least a dozen years, and that’s why NFC never worked. Apple was courageous enough to go their own way, iBeacon and Bluetooth LE bypasses all these groups.

    1. Exactly. Can’t tell you how many times I heard from the sneeringly tech clueless Fandroid of this supposed “feature.” Hilarious now to see their faces droop as they also realize who is REALLY still driving the mobile bus (and it ain’t Google).

  3. What no one ever points out that adding NFC would require Apple to find space for another dedicated chip in the iPhone, and then deal with a chip that draws power and is always looking for a terminal to pay. A drain on battery life for what? Apple can make a far more elegant, more flexible and more secure system.

  4. And all of those idiot pundits slammed Apple for not adopting NFC for all these years. Hopefully they feel very stupid right now… probably not, but they should. Apple chose instead to find a standard that would not be an additional battery drain, and they wanted something that would be much easier to use and integrate into apps. iBeacon will be far better than NFC.

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