Apple has been less-than-enthusiastic about putting NFC capabilities on the iPhone and you can’t really blame them — after all, the only time many of us see NFC in use is on Samsung commercials. But AppleInsider points out that Apple has filed a patent application this year that details an NFC-based technology that lets users send “gifts” from the iTunes store to one another on their phones. MacRumors says that the patent describes two ways users can send gifts to one another: “Either by purchasing the media directly from the iTunes Store and sending to another user’s Apple ID or by sending a copy of already-owned media to another device, which is currently unavailable on all iOS devices.” While it’s unlikely that NFC will pop up on the upcoming iPhone 5S, it seems Apple is at least considering using the technology at some point in the future.
A new report from Berg Insight found that Near Field Communication (NFC) adoption exploded in 2012. The research firm found that global sales of NFC-equipped smartphones grew 300% last year to reach 140 million units. Shipments are expected to grow at an annual rate of nearly 50% and reach a billion units by 2017. Nearly all high-end smartphones, with the exception of Apple’s iPhone, support NFC for wireless sharing, mobile payments and more. Companies such as Samsung have heavily promoted the technology to help them get an edge over the competition. Berg senior analyst Andre Malm believes this is just the tip of the iceberg, however. He noted that once developers gain more experience with NFC, we can expect to see “entirely new use cases not yet imagined.” Berg Insight’s press release follows below. More →
NFC is becoming more prevalent in the mobile space. The technology has been featured in a number of smartphones and tablets from manufacturers such as Samsung (005930), Motorola, Nokia (NOK) and Research in Motion (RIMM), among others. The possibilities with NFC appear to be endless, from mobile payments and wireless sharing to one day even controlling our vehicles. South Korean automaker Hyundai (005380) recently announced plans to incorporate the technology into its vehicles in the next few years. The company’s new Connectivity Concept will allow drivers to control various aspects of their car with an NFC-equipped smartphone. More →
Near Field Communication (NFC) is one of those technologies that sounds revolutionary on paper, but in reality, is much more complicated than just slapping a chip inside of a smartphone. Apple’s (AAPL) decision to not include NFC in the iPhone 5 is grounded around the fact that “it’s not a solution to any current problem.” Meanwhile, companies such as Samsung (005930) and Nokia (NOK) have already embraced NFC and are marketing it as more than just a mobile wallet replacement. And although Apple’s reluctance has been called a “serious blow for the technology”, several analysts from different firms say consumers are warming up to the feature, albeit very slowly, according to ComputerWorld.
Phil Schiller, Apple’s (AAPL) senior vice president of worldwide marketing has said before that the iPhone 5 doesn’t have NFC because “it’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem.” While most Android smartphones happily tout that NFC’s wireless capabilities are the future of mobile payments, Juniper Research analyst Dr. Windsor Holden wrote in his latest report that NFC growth will slow from the previously forecasted $180 billion industry by 2017 to $110 billion. Holden pins his projections for NFC’s slower growth on Apple’s failure to include NFC in its iPhone 5. He says the company’s decision is “a serious blow for the technology” and that it will be “even more difficult to persuade consumers – and retailers – to embrace what amounts to a wholly new means of payment.” Juniper Research is projecting that North America and Western Europe will have a “two-year lag” in growth based on the lower rate of NFC adoption in point of sale systems.
A number of industry watchers have voiced concerns that touchless mobile payment solutions will not truly find widespread adoption until Apple (AAPL) joins the fray and adds the functionality to its popular iPhone line of smartphones. While Apple has yet to give any indication that its smartphones will support NFC-based mobile payments in the future, one firm is confident that the market will soon take off like a rocket.
One would think that with the rise of smartphones, business cards would have become a relic already. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and business cards are a necessary evil when networking. Moo.com’s new business aren’t like regular paper cards, however. They’ve got an NFC chip inside of them that can be assigned to direct to any URL. Basically, they’re re-writeable business cards that can highlight a new social network profile or new website without ever having to be reprinted. And like any NFC-enabled label, all that’s needed is a smartphone with NFC capabilities like the Galaxy S III or Galaxy Nexus. Exchanging and storing contact information is as easy as tapping the card to the smartphone and starting today, Moo.com is giving away NFC business cards to the first 150,000 customers who order a regular pack of business cards from the company. The NFC business cards will then be available for everyone to purchase in early 2013. Moo.com’s full press release and video demonstration follows below.
Competing with Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone is never easy — the handset has been the world’s most popular single smartphone model for years, and has made Apple the most valuable company in the world — but according to a new report, NFC will serve as Apple rivals’ best bet for differentiating their devices from the iPhone 5. Apple basically called the short-range wireless data transfer technology a solution without a problem, but according to Digitimes’ unnamed industry sources, “the lack of NFC (near field communication) functionality in the latest iPhone model will allow rival brands to differentiate their products and to become priority partners for launching NFC-enabled applications and services in cooperation with financial and telecom service companies.” More →
Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 is getting a lot of flak for being iterative, predictable and even disappointing to some. Everywhere we turn, we keep hearing the same story: Why doesn’t the iPhone 5 have a bigger screen, a larger battery, a higher megapixel camera and Near Field Communication (NFC)? AllThingsD caught up with Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, to get to the bottom of the so-called “missing features.” More →
Esteemed hacker Charlie Miller, who made a name for himself embarrassing Apple engineers with his iOS hacks, has returned with a big, juicy target in his sites: the Near Field Communications technology used to send mobile payments over smartphones. Ars Technica reports that Miller showed off his latest smartphone hack at Black Hat USA on Wednesday that involved using NFC to force someone’s Android smartphone to go to a malicious website and download malware. And the scariest part about this is that all hackers have to do to compromise users’ phones is to walk right by them. More →
Although the iPhone has already proven itself to be an extremely useful little device, Apple (AAPL) has some even bigger plans for its popular smartphone in mind: Basically, it wants the iPhone to be the central remote control for every key gadget and appliance in users’ homes. Patently Apple has found a new patent application filed by Apple showing the iPhone’s future NFC capabilities being used for a wide variety of functions, including “being able to control standalone cameras, projectors, in-home security systems, lawn sprinkler systems, your thermostat, garage door and more.” The application also shows a spiffed-up version of the Apple TV that “could one day control cable or satellite television programming and video game play via a video game controller.” More →
Developers who work on mobile payment platforms should start hitting the panic button: Esteemed hacker Charlie Miller is about to mess them up. Dark Reading reports that Miller’s presentation at Black Hat USA this year “will show just how dangerous it can be to pay cabfare with your mobile device, as he demonstrates vulnerabilities he discovered in emerging near-field communications (NFC) technology.” More →
Just in case anyone was starting to feel too comfortable paying for things with contactless credit cards, a German software developer has posted a new app on the Google Play app store that’s capable of swiping credit card information from contactless cards such as PayPass MasterCard, Visa payWave and Barclays PayTag. SC Magazine reports that Thomas Skora, a senior consultant for security firm Integralis, has created an app that can “skim card numbers and [expiration] dates, along with transactions and merchant IDs” using near field communications technology that is typically used by mobile payment platforms such as Google Wallet. In order to swipe someone’s card information, thieves will have to be within a relatively short distance of their victims so they can use their smartphones to scan any contactless pay cards unwitting users might have. More →