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
After years of sitting on the sidelines, Microsoft has pledged to support WebRTC -- formerly thought of as a Skype competitor -- in Internet Explorer.
Despite the launch of its new Passport smartphone, BlackBerry needs to embrace a future that's in M2M, messaging and enterprise services.
Vodafone's Dr. Alan Law talks to Light Reading about virtualization, backhaul, SON and more after being appointed chairman of the Small Cell Forum.
Wireless operators are jumping on the mobile music bandwagon, a move that sounds good for many reasons.
The worlds of tennis, fashion and wearables collide as Ralph Lauren and OMsignal turn a polo into a sensor to track your every movement.
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 Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed