New iPhone prototypes have NFC chips and antenna

We have previously been able to pull data from PreEVT iPhone 5,1 and iPhone 5,2 prototypes codenamed “N41AP (5,1)” and “N42AP (5,2)”, which lead us to believe that the new iPhone will have a bigger 1,136-by-640 display. We also detailed a lot of the hardware (here), but we forgot one very important bit of information. Further investigation into this hardware code dump leads us to believe that these iPhones also have Near Field Communication controllers directly connected to the Power Management Unit.

The implications are obviously monstrous. With the recently announced PassBook application (which we detailed prior to its announcement while speculating about an NFC tie-in), Apple will be set to compete with Google Wallet and Microsoft’s similar service that unveiled last week. Apple could tie in with a payment processor like Citibank’s PayPass system for credit card transactions—or it could become a payment processor of sorts with its hundreds of millions of credit cards already on file at iTunes.

NFC would also allow iPhone users a quick and easy way to share files from one iOS device to another.

Jim Peters, CTO of SITA, agrees that NFC is coming to iPhone and retailers should prepare…

Read more

Phil Schiller: App Store is more democratic than traditional retail, Passbook is not a direct payment service

In a recent story about growing concerns among app developers who want better ways to promote their apps in the App Store, The Wall Street Journal published quotes from an interview with Apple’s Vice President for Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller about the “tremendous amount” of work Apple does to help new apps get discovered. Schiller also talked about how things will improve with the redesigned App Store, Facebook integration, and new user tracking tools for developers in iOS 6:
Read more

Mastercard/Paypass to be NFC partner with Apple on iPhone 5?

iPhone NFC by moneto

We had some time to talk to a well-connected developer at Macworld who was building an app that— among other capabilities— includes NFC reading for the purpose of mobile transactions.  We were obviously curious why they would do that, noting that third party NFC readers for iPhone were not popular (aside from the recently announced Moneto, above).  The developer told us that he had no hardware knowledge, but he had spoken to Apple iOS engineers on multiple occasions, and they are “heavy into NFC.”

I asked how confident he was, and he said, “Enough to bet the app development on.”

This is not the first we have heard that iPhone 5 would have NFC, however.  Besides the deluge of ideas Apple has patented with NFC, the New York Times said pre-iPhone 4S that an upcoming iPhone would have NFC.  While it did not turn out to be the iPhone 4S, it could be the one coming up.

(Moneto again)

The question is now: Who will Apple partner with for its payment systems?  Over the weekend we received some hints… Read more