IPhone NFC Buzz Grows Louder, Could be More than Speculation

There is no confirmation yet that Apple will adopt NFC for the forthcoming iPhone 6, but some sources have told NFC Times they believe there is substance to the rumors that Cupertino is finally ready to adopt the technology this year.

UPDATE: While the sources do not have direct knowledge that Apple is planning to introduce NFC on its next iPhone, they are generally plugged into the NFC ecosystem. Moreover, they have not been part of what has become an annual rite of groundless speculation in past years that Apple would embrace NFC. END UPDATE.

Unlike that past speculation–much of which dwelled on Apple’s purported designs on the payments industry with its hundreds of millions of iTunes accounts on file–the sources told NFC Times that if Apple adopts NFC in the iPhone 6 this year, it would take the conventional approach. That means it would support established payments brands, such as Visa, MasterCard and China UnionPay and probably include an embedded secure element and perhaps support NFC SIM cards with the controller.

UPDATE: It would likely use generic payment applets supporting the various payment scheme applications, such as Visa payWave, MasterCard PayPass and, in China, UnionPay's Quick Pass. It might be possible to have an applet supporting both payWave and PassPass. The generic applet or applets would reduce hassles provisioning the application and personalizing it, and reduce the required TSM services. Personalization might be done on the back-end, according to sources. Some believe Apple is also doing deals with banks directly. END UPDATE.

Still, while promising for backers of NFC, this remains within the realm of speculation. And the information is separate from an analyst report released yesterday by Morgan Stanley, which has garnered much attention the past 24 hours, predicting Apple would adopt NFC using an NFC controller from NXP Semiconductors and likely also an embedded secure element from NXP. 

Of course, even if the analysts have it right this year, their conclusions are not based on any new or revealing information. The Morgan Stanley report, though well-researched, offers no direct evidence of Apple's NFC intentions. If Apple does adopt NFC, however, NXP would be the obvious supplier.

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Among Topics Covered:

  • Sources sound positive tones for NFC backers about possibility of an NFC-enabled iPhone 6
  • Waiting for confirmation of Apple’s embrace of NFC technology
  • Morgan Stanley Report: well-researched but no direct evidence of Apple’s NFC intentions
  • NFC-enabled iPhone–a likely bounty for NXP Semiconductors
  • China would be a key market for NFC-enabled iPhone 

Among companies and organizations mentioned:

Apple
NXP Semiconductors
China UnionPay
Morgan Stanley
Broadcom
Samsung Semiconductors
VeriFone

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