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Apple Blogger John Gruber Hints at NFC For iPhone 6 [Update: iWatch Too]

applestore.pngFollowing a report from Wired suggesting NFC-based mobile payments will be a "hallmark" feature of the iPhone 6 and a confirmation from Re/code, Apple blogger John Gruber has now thrown in his two cents, with a cryptic post hinting Apple is indeed planning on including NFC in the iPhone 6 as part of a new mobile payment solution.

Gruber's post references an earlier "joke" that pointed towards a wearable device debut in September, which turned out to be accurate in light of recent rumors also suggesting a September introduction for the device.
I've been working on a new joke -- about NFC and a new secure enclave where you can store your credit cards, so you can pay for things at brick and mortar retail stores just by taking out your iPhone, but only if it's one of the new iPhones -- but no one seems to get my sense of humor.
Gruber suggests Apple's NFC-based mobile payment solution will take advantage of a new secure enclave coprocessor built into the company's new A8 chip, which is in line with previous reports. The secure enclave would likely store credit card details, allowing users to pay for physical goods with their iPhones and it would presumably work in conjunction with Touch ID.

Though rumors of NFC support in the iPhone have occurred for every new iPhone release over the past several years, NFC rumors have been especially prevalent ahead of the iPhone 6 launch. Back in April, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested the iPhone 6 would include an NFC chip, as did a follow up report from BrightWire.

At the same time, multiple reports have suggested Apple is gearing up to launch a mobile payment solution designed to leverage credit card data stored in millions of iTunes accounts. Apple is said to be partnering up with major credit card companies like Visa, and the company has also been interviewing senior payments industry executives to take on new roles within the company.

While Apple has previously viewed NFC as "not the solution to any current problem," it may be changing its opinion on the subject in light of its new mobile payment initiative. The company is expected to debut the iPhone 6, and possibly its new payment solution, at an upcoming event on September 9.

Update 8/29 10:20 AM PT: John Gruber has updated his original post, also hinting that Apple's upcoming wearable device will include support for NFC. "Follow-up joke: It would be cool, and would make a lot of sense, if the new wearable thing had the same magic payment apparatus."

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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13 weeks ago
Good. NFC is long overdue.
Rating: 12 Votes
13 weeks ago
Now all we need is a 'Yep' from Jim Dalrymple. On a side note: alot of forum members will be pleased that Gruber is now classified as a blogger instead of a journalist. :D (See last Gruber mentioned article lol)
Rating: 11 Votes
13 weeks ago

Google puts out NFC for how many years so far? Who adopts it? Not many retailers. Once all those iPhones are walking around with it, the demand will triple (iPhone users buy a lot more stuff).


The reason why many retailers ignored it so far, is because they could.

The difference now is that credit card companies have set deadlines for Fall of next year, for US merchants to support EMV cards. Most of the EMV terminals will include NFC support.

If Apple never existed, NFC payments would be coming anyway.

Merchants have little choice. Therefore Apple has little choice as well.
Rating: 9 Votes
13 weeks ago
I've always wanted Apple to support NFC, but some people will still complain about how all the fanboys hated NFC until Apple included it. Who cares?
Rating: 7 Votes
13 weeks ago
There are way too many NFC articles at this point, I think it can be moved out of the "rumors" category its been put in. Apple will work with others and usher in an entirely simplistic form of payment - a hover and swipe.
Rating: 6 Votes
13 weeks ago
I have said all along Apple will implement it when they have a use im sure all this has taken time. Look at google wallet no one uses that but I bet this will be used farrrr more cause everything was set up properly ahead of time.

Fingerprint reader? Check
Secure enclave? Check
Credit card companies involved? Check
Retailers involved? Check
iPhone with NFC? Check.
Widely accepted mobile payments? CHECK
Rating: 5 Votes
13 weeks ago
he's very funny

/not
Rating: 5 Votes
13 weeks ago

When did he lose the "journalist" title.


Many of the replies in past thread were overly focused on how he shouldn't be called a journalist, so I substituted a different descriptor with the hopes of keeping the discussion oriented on NFC instead of what we call John Gruber. :p
Rating: 5 Votes
13 weeks ago
is NFC what my credit card and debit card already does?
Rating: 4 Votes
13 weeks ago

is NFC what my credit card and debit card already does?


Not quite, but they're very closely related.

Early RIFD contactless cards

The early versions of RFID contactless cards, like PayPass/PayWave, were semi-dumb and not very secure. They basically replied with whatever is on their magstripe, and thus could be read remotely, and a magstripe version cloned. That is what gave rise to all those aluminum wallets. They did also reply with a non-repeating number, so you could not replay a purchase over the air.

EMV contactless cards

If your card is an EMV contact/contactless card, then it cannot be cloned, which is why credit card fraud has dropped up to 90% or more wherever it's been adopted. And there's no need for metal wallets :)

EMV contactless comms build on top of RFID standards.

NFC mobile payments

Going one step further, NFC builds on top of both RFID and EMV contactless communication standards, and is compatible with them.

Thus an NFC equipped phone can act like an EMV card on steroids. Unlike the EMV card, a phone also has direct connectivity over the internet, allowing payment apps to also present coupons, decide on payment methods, use local hardware to authenticate you, and so forth.

Other NFC abilities

Besides being able to emulate contactless cards, NFC devices can also read RFID tags, which many people use to trigger actions on their phone.

Devices can also follow NFC standards to communicate with each other as peers. This is the famous "bump" data transfer or automatic WiFi/speaker setup you hear about.
Rating: 4 Votes

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