Apple Restricting Use of NFC Antenna in iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to Apple Pay

by Nikhil Joseph 0

An Applespokesperson confirmed that access to the NFC antenna within the iPhone 6 will not beextended to third party developers for use in their app. This is similar toApple’s initial approach to TouchID, which was restricted to Apple’s own apps.TouchID was later opened up to app developers, it remains to be seen whetherthe same will happen with NFC.

The move is similar to the Touch IDsensor’s debut on the iPhone 5s last year, as Apple restricted its use toiTunes purchases and device unlocking. However, Apple announced at this year’sWorldwide Developers Conference that developers would be able to integrateTouch ID into their iOS 8 apps. It is possible that Apple will allow NFC to beused with third-party apps at some point in the future, however it appears thatthe company is focused on polishing the technology for use with its ownservices.

For now thiscertainly means that 3rd party payment apps such as PayPal, SoftCard(formerly ISIS), and Google Wallet that are targeting iOS consumers will not beable to integrate the ‘tap and pay’ capability that the NFC-enabled iPhone 6makes possible. For iPhone users, this means that Apple’s Passbook will becometheir go-to app for completing mobile payments in-store.

Overview by Nikhil Joseph, Analyst, Emerging Technologies Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory

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