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
The fine print on Sprint's new $60 plan suggests it can prioritize other plans' traffic first – a letdown, and maybe even a net neutrality violation.
Verizon is reportedly working with an industry consortium to launch its own app store, but past efforts suggest it's not a smart move for the operator.
Join us Thursday at 12:00 p.m. EST for a live chat with Heavy Reading's Roz Roseboro about how NFV is changing data center requirements and operations.
Nokia's new parent is still figuring out its mobile story, as it launches a new low-end phone weeks after saying it was done with low-end phones.
With Sprint CEO Dan Hesse heading for the exit door, we look back at his six-and-a-half year tenure, from Nextel, to WiMax, and those unforgettable black-and-white commercials.
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Level 3 Does Big Data Differently
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/21/2014
Comcast Streams Back to School
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/21/2014
T-Mobile: Small Cells? We're Dense Already
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/22/2014
Sprint Drops Prices, But Also Speeds?
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/21/2014
Line-Powered Phone Lines: A Hot Topic Again
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed