Multiple reports have come in that Apple is researching RFID integration into the iPhone, but some may still be wondering what such functionality would bring to the table for consumers.

Firstly, we should note that RFID is a catch-all term that describes a vast array of technologies and standards. RFID tags can be relatively large and battery-powered, such as ones used in toll collection, to small "passive" tags that can be embedded into credit cards, drivers licenses (called "Enhanced Drivers Licenses" in the U.S.), passports, or stuck onto a piece of merchandise.

Currently, cell-phone usage of RFID technology is centered around Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC has three main usage scenarios: a phone acting as an RFID tag; a phone acting as an RFID reader; and peer to peer communication (P2P).

In RFID tag mode, a phone could be used as a payment device (like a credit card), an identity card, or act as a car key. In RFID reader mode the phone would be able to interact with tags in its vicinity. This article and video (below) demonstrates how an iPhone with RFID could use physical objects to control media playback. And in P2P mode, Bluetooth pairing can be streamlined.


These are just a few ways that RFID could be used in an iPhone. When or if it becomes a reality isn't clear, but hopefully now you have a better idea of what the potential is for Apple's research in this area.

Related Forum: iPhone

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple tv 4k yellow bg feature

When to Expect a New Apple TV to Launch

Tuesday April 9, 2024 8:30 am PDT by
It has been nearly a year and a half since the current Apple TV was released, so the device is becoming due for a hardware upgrade. Below, we recap rumors about the next Apple TV, including potential features and launch timing. The current model is the third-generation Apple TV 4K, announced in October 2022. Key new features compared to the previous model from 2021 include a faster A15...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'

Wednesday April 10, 2024 6:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 will apparently feature a new Safari browsing assistant, according to backend code on Apple's servers discovered by Nicolás Álvarez. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed that the code exists, but not many details are known at this time. Álvarez said it seems like the browsing assistant will use iCloud Private Relay's infrastructure to send relevant data to Apple in a...