Light Reading
1:55 PM No NFC chip in the iPhone 5 isn't just disappointing for Apple fans; it will stall the entire market

Did Apple Just Kill NFC?

Sarah Reedy
9/13/2012
50%
50%

1:55 PM -- Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s exclusion of Near-Field Communications (NFC) from the iPhone 5 could have farther reaching repercussions than just disappointing those who wanted to ditch their wallet for their new phone. (See iPhone 5 Arrives With 4G LTE.)

I think it's reasonable to suggest that Apple's NFC slight will set the entire market back a year -- possibly even two, when you think about the iPhone case and accessory market that's put on hold now. (See Apple iPhone 5: What Happened & What Didn't .)

I realize that's giving a lot of credit to one company in a market that many more are working on, but hear me out. Apple's mobile products are responsible for making a lot of technologies mainstream. Video chat existed before FaceTime, but it wasn't well known. Mobile apps were around, but Apple's App Store caused them to blow up.

Apple's brand power aside, the contactless market is shaping up on its own, without NFC. Sure, some companies, like the wireless operators' Isis and handset makers like Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and BlackBerry are planning to evangelize it, but it's been a slow-moving process and there's plenty of alternatives that are doing quite well in the interim. (See 5 iPhone 5 Features Carriers Should Care About and iPhone 5: Which 4G Carrier to Pick?)

Square Inc. is the best example now. It has inked deals with most major credit cards, not to mention is the mobile payments vendor for Starbucks, and it's on track to process $6 billion in transactions this year. It's an easy technology to use, doesn't require a new chip in handsets to implement, and it's popular with merchants, too. None of that can be said for NFC.

As to why Apple didn't include NFC, Senior VP Paul Shiller tells AllThingsD that NFC is a solution looking for a problem. Apple's Passbook app, which let users store their mobile tickets and loyalty cards, does enough for most consumers, he believes. (See Apple Could Make Mobile Payments AuthenTec.)

He may be right but, by that logic, why not continue refining 3G on the iPhone for wireless connections? After all, users don't really need 4G wireless.

What NFC does provide is at least the concept of a standard way for carriers, vendors and third parties to support contactless payments on a smartphone. Apple passing over the technology for another year or more, however, will make it more likely that other, likely non-standard, ways of doing the same thing will gain enough traction to make NFC technology less attractive to implement for major retail outlets, particularly in the U.S., as well as wireless providers of all stripes.

So if Apple hasn't killed NFC with non-inclusion this time around, it has certainly given the would-be mobile wallet tech a serious mugging and sent it reeling into an uncertain future.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(14)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
JameKatt
50%
50%
JameKatt,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/5/2013 | 11:40:36 AM
NFC is dead. Forget about it - it is the 3D of merchant payments.
Apple killed NFC.

Apple's Passbook solution simply works for merchants without having to buy new equipment.

Starbucks, for example, works fine without NFC.

The key negative about NFC is that merchants will have to spend thousands of dollars per store to buy new equipment to handle NFC.  This is a huge negative.

Apple sees no need for NFC and lots of problems with NFC. 

Since everyone else is following Apple's lead - including Samsung and Google - no NFC for Apple means NFC is dead.

Apple's fingerprint sensor technology further kills NFC.  There simply is no need for NFC.
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 5:21:06 PM
re: Did Apple Just Kill NFC?


Wouldn't ya know it...I see now that Isis is delayed: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57512526-94/isis-mobile-payment-service-hits-snag-delays-trial-run/. Not surprised. NFC is having a hard time getting off the ground.

SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 5:21:06 PM
re: Did Apple Just Kill NFC?


Ha, I asked her a few iPhone 5 questions, and got "allow me to direct you to Apple's rather fabulous web site." Well played.

craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 5:21:06 PM
re: Did Apple Just Kill NFC?


We could ask Siri if Apple just killed NFC, but she'll probably tell us that no, Apple did not kill the National Football Conference. If we tell her that not including NFC in the iPhone 5 doesn't seem very consumer friendly to us, she'll probably send us Apple's Passbook app. Oh that Siri.   

desiEngineer
50%
50%
desiEngineer,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:21:04 PM
re: Did Apple Just Kill NFC?


As Soup says, Apple is very leery of cutting edge.  Gorilla glass and LTE are notable.


BTW, I think you should look at it this way: if Apple backs something, then it becomes popular.  If Apple doesn't back something, it just means it is holding back until it can make itself look good doing it.


-desi

larryw408
50%
50%
larryw408,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:21:04 PM
re: Did Apple Just Kill NFC?


They're going to need something new for the iPhone 6...

Soupafly
50%
50%
Soupafly,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:21:04 PM
re: Did Apple Just Kill NFC?


Its too early to make the call on NFC.


You have to dive below the hype Sarah and see the wood not the trees. Your articles are usually informative and balanced, so I am going to put this 1 down to a low "starbucks" day.


Apple has never been a edgy innovator. They would like to sell you that story and if you buy that narrative then they are very happy! Reality is that they adopt a fast follower with a focused USP around user experience.


I think they dont know what standard will win and are not in the gambling mood, because the judgement call between teh competing systems is too close to call.


Can they create themselves a standard? Yep.


Are the confident they can lead on the UE? No.

SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 5:21:03 PM
re: Did Apple Just Kill NFC?


I think we're in agreement that Apple isn't the trailblazer, but it is the company that takes a lot of technologies mainstream. My point was that it could've done the same for NFC. I don't blame them for not including it given the current state of the market, but I maintain that it's disappointing for the ecosystem because it could've kickstarted it.

paolo.franzoi
50%
50%
paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:21:03 PM
re: Did Apple Just Kill NFC?


I guess I don't understand why its wonderful to have a card that can be stolen (and acts like cash) or a phone to be hacked to pay my bills wirelessly by waving them at a machine.  Imagine a hacked POS device.


I just think both are just so likely to add to theft that before we get convenience happy that we need to think through the security aspects.


seven


 

Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:21:03 PM
re: Did Apple Just Kill NFC?


I'm not convinced about NFC in phones for payments. The new Visa cards in UK have a thing called contactless payment. You touch your card to a machine and pay for goods without entering a PIN.


It some ways it seems better than using a phone to do the same thing. Maybe a phone would be more secure (if you set a password?).


It looks like this:


<img alt="" height="413" src="http://www.standard.co.uk/incoming/article8075673.ece/ALTERNATES/w620/AN7803721NOTE-THE-VISA-CARD.jpg" width="620">

Page 1 / 2   >   >>
More Blogs from Light Reedy
BlackBerry and T-Mobile are considering kissing and making up, but only if their CEOs can get along.
Sprint's promotion to halve the service pricing plans of those switching from AT&T or Verizon isn't as good as it seems when you factor in the new device requirements.
OTT chat app Kik has raised $38.3M in funding and acquired a GIF maker, showing operators there are other ways to monetize chat than ads and fees.
Join us Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. EST for a live chat with TM Forum's Rebecca Sendel and Rob Rich about how operators are approaching big data analytics for the growing Internet of Things.
With help from SevOne, the Canadian operator gained valuable visibility into its network. Now, it's tackling the challenge of internal silos.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
LRTV Documentaries
AT&T's New Security Strategy

12|10|14   |   02:36   |   (1) comment


AT&T's Chief Security Officer Ed Amoroso explains how his company is wrapping virtual security layers around micro network domains.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
Vodafone to Ride T-Mobile Back Into US
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/12/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
Gardner's Departure a Cautionary Tale
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 12/12/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Upcoming Webinars
Webinar Archive