NFC isn’t any sort of big news. As a matter of fact, it’s been around for more than a few years on Android handsets. Google’s Nexus S was one of the first smartphones to utilize the technology; although, those early beginnings were tag reading only. Since then, NFC has matured into a variety of useful applications, the most significant being mobile payments. Google Wallet, Isis and Square are among the leading NFC software companies. While mobile payment technology still hasn’t caught on in the mainstream, it has been getting ironed out.
Now reports are circulating that Apple may finally be ready to get into the NFC game. This news is likely not going to peek too much interest from current iPhone users, but it will certainly flare up the Android fan base.
iPhone users who have been on the platform since the start are likely going to be exposed to NFC for the first time (if this rumor is true), so this is a fresh start for them. iPhone users who may have migrated from Android (like myself) are likely going to be testing this feature as soon as possible to gauge it against Android’s offering. Apple long battled against NFC, saying it just wasn’t necessary, but now it seems they feel it has some sort of use. Nothing is clear at this point as far as Apple’s intentions for NFC or if it will even be on the iPhone 6. But, if Apple is jumping into NFC specifically for mobile payment features, they are very likely going to do it with their own system which will further fragment mobile payments. It would be nice to see a standard for mobile payments that all manufacturers can use, but we’re still in the early stages of the technology, so fragmentation is normal.
While Apple’s exact implementation is still unclear at this point, we can still make some general idea of what it will look like. The company has made a huge push to get its Bluetooth LE-transmitting iBeacons into retailers across the country. And because Apple did not spend a great deal of time expounding on iBeacons at WWDC this year, it’s possible they could be a greater focus at Apple’s September media event—as a part of its mobile payment solution. Touch ID will also likely play a role in securing the platform, and it could make sense for Passbook, Apple’s hub for tickets and coupons, to get some level of integration with the service too.
Whatever Apple’s plans here, I’m not seeing it making much of an impact in this version of the iPhone, unless there is some major software feature to go with it. What do you think about Apple’s foray into NFC? We’ve been told before that past iPhones would get NFC. Do you think this time they’ll actually do it? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.Source: Wired
Featured image modified from Business Insider.
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