Just when you thought that the new iPhone could not get any better, there are rumors that the upcoming version of this smartphone is likely to incorporate the NFC(near-field communication) technology. The near-field communication technology is essentially a technology that enables short-range radio communication. It allows a pair of devices that are situated in close proximity to communicate in a secure environment.
Recent reports suggest that prototypes of the iOS 6 include this near-field communication hardware. The NFC hardware has been wired to its power management unit. It is expected to allow the iPhone users to use this gadget for paying bills at retail outlets by simply “waving” the device. Users will have to simply wave the smartphone to pay their bills at merchant terminals or get loyalty discounts.
Apple has recently unveiled the Passbook app for the upcoming iPhone version and the NFC technology is slated to make lives of consumers even easier. The user is likely to use this technology present in credit cards that can be “waved” over special readers for paying bills. There are mobile phones equipped with this technology which are being extensively used especially in Asian countries for buying from vending machines or paying for retail goods at counters. Here, the transactions are added to the users’ monthly mobile phone bills or withdrawn from his account via credit card.
Although the NFC technology has been successfully launched and is being used extensively in Asia, the rest of the world, especially the US, is still new to it. Many handset manufacturers and credit card companies have tried to popularize the concept, but with little luck so far. Incidentally, Google’s resources too have not been able to successfully market its Google Wallet system amongst retailers and buyers.
However, things are expected to change because of the huge popularity that Apple products enjoy. An iPhone, which is the most user-friendly smartphone to hit the mobile phone market, can actually be the perfect launch-pad for the NFC technology to take off. If an iPhone is able to incorporate this technology successfully, chances are that the NFC will become hugely popular amongst all smartphone users.
The new iOS 6 is expected to include the app Passbook. This has been marketed as the one-stop shop for tickets, passes, loyalty cards and coupons. When you want to purchase movie tickets for instance, this app is going to store a specific bar code which is going to be scanned when you arrive at the theater. When your smartphone has the NFC chip, all you have to do is “wave” it above a special reader and walk in. There are speculations that this NFC hardware is going to be connected to the user’s iTunes account to make payments. So, the next time you buy something at a shopping mall, you can simply wave the phone over the terminal for credit card payments. The payment will be deducted from the credit card that is associated with your Apple ID or iTunes account.
Apple was recently lauded for its iWallet technology that uses the NFC for making credit card transactions through the phone. Users can now track their payments through an iTunes billing system. Now that Apple has started recruiting NFC experts and applied for patents for mobile use of NFC, the rumors of Apple devices incorporating the NFC hardware, do not seem to be baseless.