AT&T is apparently getting ready to launch an iPhone accessory that will turn the smartphone into an Isis-ready, NFC-enabled device. Even though the iPhone doesn’t actually have a near field communication (NFC) chip inside, which would allow users to use the device for NFC mobile payments, a leaked image provided by Engadget shows a special iPhone case – the Incipio Cashwrap – which contains a micro-NFC chip complete with a secure element that could be used for wireless payments via the Isis service.
In addition to the hardware, which will reportedly retail for $70 when it launches, users interested in Isis-based mobile payments will also have to install a free application, the Isis Mobile Wallet. However, a launch date for the Cashwrap cases is not available at this time.
Isis is a wireless payment service backed up by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon in the U.S., although it’s not clear whether these iPhone cases will also be available from the other two carriers. The Cashwrap was officially unveiled at CES 2014, with Incipio announcing only iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 cases at the time. According to the original press release, the Cashwrap cases should launch in March, but Engadget says the accessory is already listed in AT&T’s inventory.