Print 39 comment(s) - last by jdre.. on Sep 8 at 2:34 PM

The iPhone 6 is getting NFC, "we really mean it this time"

The rumors of Apple’s iPhone family receiving NFC capabilities for mobile payments have been around for years. They first started popping up shortly after the launch of the iPhone 5 and haven’t let up since.
Now, Wired is reporting that NFC functionality is coming — for real this time — with the launch of the iPhone 6. The onboard NFC chip will form the basis of an Apple-branded payment system that will be announced at the September 9 keynote event, an event which has now been cofirmed.

Wired states Apple has the perfect platform for launching such a mobile payment service, as it already has nearly a billion credit cards on file courtesy of its iTunes service for music, apps, and video. When combined with Touch ID, an NFC chip, Bluetooth LE via iBeacons, and a hardware security chip, Apple’s solution could prove to be a potent competitor in the mobile payments arena.

4.7" iPhone 6 (L), iPhone 5s (C), and 5.5" iPhone 6 (R); location for NFC ship pictured in red. 

In a separate report, Mac Rumors has posted images of bare logic boards for both the 4.7” and 5.5” iPhone 6 which appear to show the location for the NFC chip.

Sources: Wired, Mac Rumors

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I think it kind of has to be said
By jdre on 8/28/2014 12:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
It will be intriguing to see the world's reaction to Apple adopting NFC. It has been on many, many other phones for years (even the old SGS3), and didn't pick up any momentum.

RE: I think it kind of has to be said
By notposting on 8/28/2014 1:05:35 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't help with the (non) support you get if not Android.

The payment method soon to formerly known as ISIS still has yet to support WP8 or BB X, despite tens of millions of those devices in the wild with NFC support.

Carriers gimped and fought Google Wallet, basically neutered MS Wallet in WP8 the same way, and here I am still unable to use my device fully.

BUT they trotted out an NFC sporting CASE for the iPhone so they could roll out an iOS app. WTFBBQ?!

RE: I think it kind of has to be said
By jdre on 8/28/2014 1:15:23 PM , Rating: 3
If I wasn't so sure that Apple always behaves completely scrupulously *cough*, I'd think there were some closed-door agreements being made somewhere in this whole process.

I'm assuming within the next 18 months, we'll see Starbucks and Target stores (etc) suddenly having NFC capabilities at their registers.

By ritualm on 8/28/2014 2:58:42 PM , Rating: 2
It's a lot easier to implement NFC payment functionality when you also need to do something else major to existing payment systems, like the mandatory switch to chip-and-pin terminals of late.

By brshoemak on 8/28/2014 3:22:00 PM , Rating: 2
Even with better security technology, I'm sure Target would have to step lightly in terms of implementing NFC or at least up their PR game before or during the rollout period. It wouldn't bother me, but some people have strong feelings and very long memories regarding that security breach.

By Labotomizer on 8/28/2014 4:08:49 PM , Rating: 3
WP8 supports ISIS SIMs and payments.

RE: I think it kind of has to be said
By Solandri on 8/28/2014 1:13:15 PM , Rating: 2
NFC payments never picked up steam in the U.S. It is fairly common in Asia (you can use your phone's NFC to pay to ride on subways, and a larger number of stores accept it).

It really needs two- (or three-) factor authentication to be safe though. Otherwise someone who steals your phone can go on a spending spree. The fingerprint scanner really helps in that regard. (Yes, yes, I know they are easy to spoof. But it turns it from a trivial theft, into one that the thief must put a fair amount of effort into pulling off. More effort than most thieves are willing to expend.) What, you thought Samsung put a fingerprint scanner on their phone just because Apple did?

Payments aside, NFC is on my must-have list just for the wireless charging. The few occasions where I've used it to quickly send someone photos has been handy too. Regardless of whether it's Apple or another company that encourage NFC's adoption, the U.S. will be better off for it.

RE: I think it kind of has to be said
By jdre on 8/28/2014 1:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with your points - I'm just not 100% sold on the idea that fingerprint scanning is, in practice, safer than a good password. Faster, sure, but I don't understand why a strong password isn't 'functionally' as safe. Though I admit I never bothered to study up on it too much.

RE: I think it kind of has to be said
By Murloc on 8/28/2014 1:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
let's say you're walking briskly to get to the subway train, you pull out your phone, read the fingerprint and put the phone on the NFC reader to make the payment, the turnstile unlocks and you go through. Assume the fingerprint reader activates the automatic payments for X seconds.

I don't know if this is possible yet with current software, but it will maybe be in the future.

This prevents thieves from paying with a stolen phone.

Fingerprint is much faster and more comfortable in this use case.

RE: I think it kind of has to be said
By jdre on 8/28/2014 2:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
Well yes, I understand that. I just don't know why apparently NFC couldn't get support without the fingerprint idea.

The same scenario you described would take 3-5 more seconds if I were to type in a password, rather than scan my fingerprint (which, incidentally, has a habit of not working often, for me and my 5S)

By ummduh on 8/29/2014 12:37:45 AM , Rating: 2
Because nobody wants a strong password on their phone.

I HATE password protecting my phone. I just don't do it. It's such a freaking hassle to have to keep putting in a password every time.

On the same token, however, I'm extremely aware of where I am and where my phone is. It's either in my hand, or in my FRONT pocket, 100% of the time (except for sleeping, of course).

I am not worried about losing my phone, nor having it stolen. If I'm in a pick pocket prone area, I even jamb my keys and my wallet into the same pocket so it's pretty obvious if someone else is in there, lol.

If there was a decent finger print scanner that wasn't on an Apple device, I'd give it a shot, though. Doesn't sound like I would end up keeping it, since I work for a living, and I am always sweaty, or dirty, and usually both.

RE: I think it kind of has to be said
By jdre on 8/28/2014 3:47:30 PM , Rating: 3
Also, I believe use of the fingerprint scanner alone is only "one-factor." Something the user is.

That's what I mean by it (alone) being arguably as safe as the one-factor method of a password (i.e., something the user knows).

If it uses fingerprint and password, that may be technically more secure (yet perhaps not pragmatically; someone would still need to steal my phone and guess my password before I "kill switched" the phone/payment function remotely) -- but then you lose the precious 3 second time saving cited in a comment below.

I'd argue that either single-factor authentication is still more secure than the credit cards in my wallet currently -- I've never had a clerk ask to see a photo ID. Anyone who scribbled my name could make a purchase.

By djdjohnson on 8/28/2014 7:34:18 PM , Rating: 2
What does NFC have to do with wireless charging? They are two totally separate things.

By tonyswash on 8/29/2014 6:06:46 AM , Rating: 2
Otherwise someone who steals your phone can go on a spending spree. The fingerprint scanner really helps in that regard. (Yes, yes, I know they are easy to spoof.

Is Touch ID that easy to spoof in the real world?

Security expert Marc Rogers - director of security operations at the DEF CON hacking conference and principal security researcher for mobile security software developer Lookout - posted an entry to the Lookout blog entitled Why I Hacked Apple’s TouchID, And Still Think It Is Awesome. He says:

The fact that fingerprints can be lifted is not really up for debate— CSI technicians have been doing it for decades. The big question with TouchID was whether or not Apple could implement a design that would resist attacks using lifted fingerprints, or whether they would join the long line of manufacturers who had tried but failed to implement a completely secure solution.

Does this mean TouchID is flawed and that it should be avoided? The answer to that isn’t as simple as you might think. Yes, TouchID has flaws, and yes, it’s possible to exploit those flaws and unlock an iPhone. But, the reality is these flaws are not something that the average consumer should worry about. Why? Because exploiting them was anything but trivial.

He then runs through exactly what a thief would have to do to crack Touch ID. To summarise - it's not easy!

In the real world lots of people don't use passwords on their phones because it's way too tedious and passwords too can be cracked. The point of Touch ID is not that it's a fool proof security system, there is no such thing, but that it's a very strong security system and it's really easy to use.

A couple of additional points. One of the benefits of Apple designing it's own CPU is the ability to build secure enclaves on the chip itself for super sensitive data. In the A7 there is a secure enclave for the fingerprint data and in the A8 it may well include credit card data.

Apple having been working on an iWallet payment system for a long time (lots of patents lodged in this area over many years) and of course they are sitting on top of the largest (800 million) collection of online credit card accounts in the world. How such a system might work in the real world is covered in this very interesting article by Tim Bajarin at Techpinions.

Apple have been very, very patient about assembling all the parts and if the rumors are to be believed we can finally see what they have put together very soon.

By Makaveli on 8/30/2014 12:03:15 PM , Rating: 2
NFC is also big in Canada.

i've been using it at tim hortons for over a year already on my BB10 device.

RE: I think it kind of has to be said
By Samus on 8/28/2014 6:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
The only times I ever used Google Wallet NFC on my SGS3 was at McDonalds and Home Depot. Employees always thought it was pretty cool, adding they'd never seen anybody do that before...

Shows how popular it was. So much potential from a technology with so little adoption.

My predictions
By tonyswash on 8/28/2014 2:14:12 PM , Rating: 1
If Apple announces a new line of wearable products at the September 9th event here are my predictions:

- Apple's new products won't look or work like any Android gear smart watch.

- there will be a wave of comments along the lines of 'is that all it is!' and 'Android/Microsoft/fill-the-blanks already has that', and of course 'Apple can't innovate anymore now Jobs is gone'.

- Apple's new products will sell extremely well.

- Apple's new products will disrupt several markets

- in a couple of years there will be lots of competing products that look like and work a bit like the new Apple products.

RE: My predictions
By jdre on 8/28/2014 2:22:04 PM , Rating: 3
Are you basing this on how the last two iOS upgrades took place? Because (and I say this as I hold my iPhone) iOS has been adopting features from Android OS pretty heavily: swipe down for notifications, swipe up for (limited) settings, third party keyboard, NFC, GUI for closing apps that show their current state with a swipe gesture to close them, rumors about widgets...

Apple will sell well and disrupt markets because $omehow nobody pays attention to tech until Apple adopt$ it.

RE: My predictions
By tonyswash on 8/28/2014 7:35:06 PM , Rating: 1
Apple will sell well and disrupt markets because $omehow nobody pays attention to tech until Apple adopt$ it.

Adapts it not adopt it. Makes it workable, attractive, human.

Remember when phones looked like this?

One day people will say remember when people wore these

RE: My predictions
By jdre on 9/8/2014 2:34:25 PM , Rating: 2
Remember the first iPhone? Lacked many features that non-smart phones had.

Also, I think there are a lot of examples of Apple currently being behind on usability (3rd party keyboard, multi-window, NFC, usable voice interactions).

Apple gets credit for making things approachable, and sometimes they maybe do -- but I feel like they've lost a lot of their usability R&D efforts, and aren't the world leader they used to (allegedly) be.

I'd also say that a lot of what you're calling "adapting" I would call "marketing."

RE: My predictions
By ritualm on 8/28/2014 3:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
- there will be a wave of comments along the lines of 'is that all it is!' and 'Android/Microsoft/fill-the-blanks already has that', and of course 'Apple can't innovate anymore now Jobs is gone'.

Negatory - there already were waves of comments over those features on other platforms. Touch ID? Yep, because the Apple crowd dismissed Authentec's fingerprint scanners that existed on so many PC laptops until Cupertino bought it outright.

RE: My predictions
By tayb on 8/28/2014 3:33:17 PM , Rating: 3
To be fair, even today the fingerprint scanners on mobile phones suck except for the iPhone. I've not seen an Android/WP implementation that worked flawlessly and wasn't clunky.

RE: My predictions
By jdre on 8/28/2014 3:52:51 PM , Rating: 2
Not trying to argue - I haven't done a representative sample or anything, clearly -- but purely anecdotally: my 5s sucks. Despite a software upgrade and from time to time re-entering the prints, it fails to work half the time. Also it REALLY fails to work if my hands are anything but bone dry (e.g., the gym is impossible).

RE: My predictions
By tayb on 8/28/2014 3:55:16 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting. I don't have a 5S but I have a few friends who do and it seems to work great for them. I've only used it a few times though but just from a usage perspective it's a lot easier to put your thumb on the button than it is to swipe your finger on the back of the phone somewhere.

RE: My predictions
By tonyswash on 8/28/2014 6:25:35 PM , Rating: 1
already were waves of comments over those features on other platforms

You have just confirmed my prediction. Even better you are claiming that other platforms already have features in relation to an Apple product that has not yet been announced and about which almost nothing is known.

Way to go!

RE: My predictions
By ritualm on 8/29/2014 2:20:04 AM , Rating: 3
What prediction, tardswash?

Apple fanboys have long seen fingerprint scanners as an unnecessary boondoggle... until Apple put one into the 5S. Then they, including yours truly, started raving how it's the best thing since forks were invented.

OMG Touch ID-enabled NFC purchases will change everything(tm) when it goes live! No, it's already been done before. You just choose to ignore everything that doesn't come out of epinions, asymco, and other pro-Apple "advertorials".

I like you when it comes to global warming - at least you're right on the money over that topic. When it comes to Apple however, I agree with you only about 5% of the time... and that's being overly generous.

RE: My predictions
By retrospooty on 8/28/2014 3:43:38 PM , Rating: 2
Careful Tony, with comments like that, people can see your tiny e-peen.

RE: My predictions
By lightfoot on 8/28/2014 9:56:44 PM , Rating: 4
I agree with your points in theory, but not how you presented them. Let me translate:
- Apple's new products won't look or work like any Android gear smart watch.

Apple's new products will include proprietary interfaces and will not work with existing standards/devices.

- there will be a wave of comments along the lines of 'is that all it is!' and 'Android/Microsoft/fill-the-blanks already has that', and of course 'Apple can't innovate anymore now Jobs is gone'.

People will be rightfully underwhelmed when Apple "introduces" last year's technology.

- Apple's new products will sell extremely well.

Sheep will be sheep. Apple logos sell. CFS.

- Apple's new products will disrupt several markets

Apple will patent the existing technologies with a twist, and then sue existing device makers for "copying them." Ex - Near Field Communications to process payments on a mobile device.

- in a couple of years there will be lots of competing products that look like and work a bit like the new Apple products.

And these devices will also be very similar to devices that look like and work like devices that Samsung, Google and others released last year.

Apple iterates, they don't innovate. Innovation is risky.

Get your phones now
By Mitch101 on 8/28/2014 12:22:30 PM , Rating: 2
News on Bloomberg and other sources showing that phone carriers are looking at reducing subsidies to phone manufactures so you could be paying more for the latest phones soon. If your thinking about upgrading might be the right time to get in now. For instance you might get an iPhone 5s for $99.00 but behind the scenes the carrier is paying $700.00. That might change soon. Who is going to take the hit the phone manufactures, consumer, or both. Most likely consumer.

In a way this makes sense since newer phones are coming with less enhancements than previous generations consumer upgrading seems less important.

RE: Get your phones now
By teldar on 8/28/2014 12:34:50 PM , Rating: 3
T-mobile, I believe is what is killing subsidies. Their no contact business model is much more attractive cost wise for a consumer than Verizon or att.
The other part is things like straight talk. I just left Verizon for straight talk and a one+ one. I would have paid $200 for a new phone plus $80/month for service. Now I paid $360 for a better phone and will pay $45/mo for my service. I'm saving like $800 every two years.

RE: Get your phones now
By Solandri on 8/28/2014 1:19:39 PM , Rating: 3
T-mobile prices their plans without subsidy (i.e. if you bring your own phone). You can opt to have them subsidize your phone by signing up for a contract, during which you'll have something like $20/mo added to your bill for 2-3 years.

So basically it works like the other carriers with the important distinction that once your contract is up, your bill will decrease by $20/mo. The other carriers just continue charging your the subsidy repayment even though you've already paid off your phone (I really think there should be a FTC investigation into this - it is theft pure and simple).

RE: Get your phones now
By Drexial on 8/28/2014 2:29:58 PM , Rating: 2
T-Mobile takes the cost of the phone, divides it by 24 and adds that to your bill. So you pay exactly the cost of the phone split monthly and it can be paid off early. If you cancel your service you will only owe the remainder of the cost of the phone, there are no other fees.

RE: Get your phones now
By ProtonBadger on 8/28/2014 1:20:41 PM , Rating: 2
In Canada, when the iPhone 4S came out I bought one for $99 on a required $60/month 3 year plan. The day after I cancelled data and went to a $25/mo plan, happily paying a one-off $200 penalty. Wifi is everywhere here.

I don't care if I have iOS or Android though, they're both equally capable except for the tech religious so in a few years I might get the future version of the Moto G or similar, avoiding contracts altogether.

By carigis on 8/28/2014 1:25:46 PM , Rating: 3
yay.. it caught up with my $20 sero android tablet.. grats.

I have an iphone and an ipad as well.. no innovation lately..

Missing the obvious?
By djdjohnson on 8/28/2014 7:41:45 PM , Rating: 1
Am I the only one to pick up on the obvious? If the leaked pictures of the iPhone 6 case are to be believed, the phone CAN'T have NFC... electromagnetic induction does not travel through metal, and the alleged iPhone 6 back is all metal.

If the pictures are accurate, there is no way that the iPhone 6 will have NFC (or wireless charging). The signal simply couldn't pass through the case. NFC antennas are a minimum of 5-6 cm in diameter, so the case would have to have a plastic opening at least that large to allow the signal to pass.

RE: Missing the obvious?
By Prod1702 on 8/29/2014 3:07:09 AM , Rating: 2
How does it work with the HTC One which is all metal. My M8 has NFC and I use it daily. Pretty sure that phone is 100% metal other then the glass screen.

By FITCamaro on 8/29/2014 7:31:49 AM , Rating: 3
I'll be too busy playing Destiny to care.

Just a question....
By sulu1977 on 8/28/2014 2:50:05 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone care to answer this question:
If I were to reproduce the iPhone 6 with only vacuum tubes instead of IC's, how big would it be?

No bueno
By ummduh on 8/29/2014 12:22:53 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, Apple, but that day has already been taken as the celebratory day of my birth! I must insist that you cease and desist any goings on on my birthday.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs
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