Apple Inc has again snubbed Near Field Communication (NFC) technology when it made its new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. This came as no surprise as the company has also previously excluded the mobile wallet as well a data-sharing features of that technology.
NFC is currently commonly used in many other Android smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S4. It also runs in many Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices. NFC chip may not be integrated into the new iPhones, but Apple instead opted for a new fingerprinting sensor, dubbed as the Touch ID.
Apple’s own way
The decision by Apple could have resulted from what it perceived as the company’s long-tem competitive approach based on how it expects mobile payments to evolve. This move would surely benefit the technology firm after all.
Its Touch ID would facilitate faster and more secured purchases at Apple’s App Store. According to some analysts, this strategy clearly states that Apple thinks that finger scanning is much better compared to near field radios in ensuring security and safety of transactions.
Challenge to NFC
The absence of NFC on the new iPhones may serve as a challenge to Google Wallet and Isis. Isis is a consortium of mobile carriers that are attempting to roll out NFC mobile payment on a national basis. This could be a problem to the group because the exclusion may signal the impending death of NFC.
According to some analysts, many businesses may instead opt for bar-code scanners that could read QR codes particularly on smartphones like iPhones. It is also a likely possibility that Wi-Fi solutions would soon be widely adopted. Apple’s decision could serve as roadblock to mobile wallets that are still based on NFC. The QR reader option could be a better idea.
No immediate need yet
Apple’s Passbook application may work through optically scanning QR codes. It allows users to use iPhones as boarding passes or virtual tickets. Majority of analysts believe that QR codes could be more prevalent than NFC or mobile wallet transactions within two years.
However, some technology analysts think that Apple may possibly add NFC support into its next iPhones as an option for authentication system. They believe that at this point, the company may not afford to avoid universal wireless technology in sharing data especially with many other people who use smartphones running on some other operating systems. They added that Apple may think that there is no urgent need to adopt NFC yet.