Apple fans who have insisted for years that the iPhone doesn’t need NFC… get ready for an iPhone with NFC. Unnamed sources tell Wired that Apple has decided to include an NFC radio in its upcoming iPhone 6 and that the technology will be used to facilitate mobile payments.
Wired points out that while Apple has certainly taken its time when it comes to enabling NFC-assisted mobile payments on its flagship smartphone, there have definitely been strong hints that something like this has been in the works for a while.
“Over the years, the company has filed a number of patents relating to an e-wallet platform,” Wired explains. “One, published this past January, detailed how dual wireless protocols like NFC and Bluetooth could be paired to complete a transaction while sensitive data is stored in a ‘secure element’ in the device’s hardware. Another patent describes a payment system that’s location and context aware, offering the user various options (like rewards cards or coupons) when relevant.”
The question, of course, is whether Apple’s mobile payment system has something unique that will help it succeed where countless other systems have failed again and again — after all, even those of us who are longtime Android users don’t typically use Google Wallet to pay for groceries.