Unlike previous iPhone generations, the iPhone 6 will pack an NFC chip that will offer users access to wireless payments and possibly other neat NFC-related tricks, a feature that has only been available on smartphones running other operating systems so far. After a Wired story on Thursday confirmed the NFC features of the iPhone 6 – something previous components leaks also hinted at before – reports from The Financial Times and well-known insider John Gruber have further detailed Apple’s NFC plans for the iPhone.
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The Times has learned from people familiar with the matter that Apple will use NFC technology from NXP, the same Dutch chipmaker that makes the M7 co-processor found in the iPhone 5s.
Gruber then half-jokingly made some NFC remarks in a recent blog post, teasing the upcoming feature. “I’ve been working on a new joke — about NFC and a new secure enclave where you can store your credit cards, so you can pay for things at brick and mortar retail stores just by taking out your iPhone, but only if it’s one of the new iPhones — but no one seems to get my sense of humor,” he said.
A short while ago Gruber made a “joke” about the iWatch arriving this fall, which was taken as a confirmation of the smartwatch’s imminent arrival.
Apple’s entrance in the mobile payments business has long been seen as instrumental for a business that’s yet to take off in most markets, despite being already supported by various smartphone makers, carriers and credit card companies. Apple has been rumored for a few years to add NFC functionality to iPhones for wireless payments purposes, and has patents describing such technology, but the company did not release any NFC-ready iPhone to date.
Apple will unveil the iPhone 6 during a special media event that has already been confirmed for September 9.
UPDATE: Insider Sonny Dickson, who has provided plenty of iPhone leaks in the past, has posted on his blog high-quality images received from Russian company Feld & Volk (also known for recent iPhone 6 leaks) that show the iPhone 6’s motherboard and seem to confirm the presence of a NXP NFC chip (see following image).