Apple is gearing up to incorporate Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in the iPhone 6, according to a report from BrightWire citing sources familiar with the matter. The report also notes that Apple has struck a deal with China UnionPay to integrate the banking company’s services into Passbook and elsewhere.
China Times reports [Google translation, via Mac Otakara] that Taiwanese chip firm Chipbond has been selected to provide a number of components for the iPhone 5S, including the touch display driver as well as chips to support fingerprint sensor and near field communications (NFC) capabilities. The report suggests that Apple will use the fingerprint sensor functionality to enhance the security of NFC features such as mobile payments.
9to5Mac reports that it has reanalyzed the previously-obtained hardware code dump for Apple’s next-generation iPhone prototypes and discovered that the code makes reference to hardware components supporting near field communication (NFC) capabilities.
Following conflicting rumors about whether the iPhone 4S would include near field communication (NFC) technology (rumors that were eventually decided in the negative), Digitimes reports that Apple is indeed one of the vendors still expected to introduce NFC-enabled operating system software (and thus hardware) in 2012. Apple’s inclusion of NFC in next year’s iPhone would appear to come as part of a tipping point for the technology, with the technology’s prevalence in the smartphone industry set to increase from about 10% to over 50% in the span of two to three years.
According to this source, Apple has already made prototype payment terminals intended for small businesses to scan NFC-enabled iPhones and iPads. These terminals could be subsidized or even given away to encourage adoption.
Apple has been hiring NFC experts as well as applied for several patents on the technology. A couple of previous reports have also pegged the next generation iPhone as having NFC technology built in.
Apple’s interest in Near Field Communication (NFC), the short-range wireless technology that supports such services as “tap and go” credit card payments, has been well-established, but a new report claims that Apple maybe be planning to include the technology in the fifth-generation iPhone to allow Mac users to essentially keep a portable version of their Mac on their iPhone and wirelessly allow any compatible Mac to run as if it was their own Mac.