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Aug. 1, 2012, 5:09 a.m.
John Devlin Practice Director
The question on everyone’s lips – at least in the NFC world - is will the new iPhone feature NFC?
It’s a tricky one to call, if it will have NFC in then it really does seem to be top secret as I have heard nothing indicating that anyone is involved. For this reason I am doubtful. Whilst my feeling was that it could well have NFC due to the staff recruited in related positions and the previous patents applied for I am less certain now.
In the meantime, a lot is being spoken of NFC being included in the iPhone but I feel that much of this is in hope rather than expectation. I am seeing the slower than expected adoption of NFC impacting companies, with stories circulating around the future of ViVOtech, and NFC IC market leaders NXP and Inside Secure's latestreported figures showing widening losses. Talking up Apple'sadoption of NFC is one way of off-setting this, at least in the short term.
Apple is certainly changing its use of wireless connectivity; it has got behindBluetooth 4.0but I see that as serving a different purpose to NFC. There is current discussion around Apple changing the connector design and I have wondered if this might be related to NFC. NFC could be the initial means of connection but I think that perhaps it will be more likely to relate to using BT 4.0 to connect and stream data and media to peripherals and other devices around the home. So I can see both sides of the coin – but if I had to put money down it would be in the “no” camp. However, I believe that if New iPhone does have NFC then it will not be one supporting payments. Other OEMs have been using NFC tags and MNOs are building wallets with other capabilities, such as loyalty (rather than NFC payments) and I do not think that Apple will blaze the trail – if you look at its history it generally re-designs technologies/features rather than being a first adopter.
The only thing for certain is that there will be much more discussion over the next six weeks until this most secretive of companies unveils its new product(s).