NFC technology, or near-field communication technology, is an impressive technology that has been around for quite some time: micro-wireless antennas transmit small amounts of data at distances of less than 1.5 inches. Today, NFC enables phones to make contactless payments, pair with other NFC-enabled devices, enable higher bandwidth communication, and read and write “label” identification products.
Apple has been lagging in nfc for years. Android devices have been in use for NFC since 2010, but Apple didn’t start using it until late 2014, and even so, NFC isn’t fully supported by Apple: NFC hardware is added to the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch. Other apps are not available simply to apple Pay, Apple’s proprietary wireless payment solution. It wasn’t until the release of the iPhone 7 at the end of 2016 that Apple let some iPhones read NFC tags, and it took three years to add NFC writing to iOS 13.
Towards the end of 2019, the iPhone and Apple Watch will still be paid for only by Apple Pay, the only device apple spending with NFC, and the iPad and iPod touch still don’t have the feature to this day. That’s why Apple only sells contactless student ID cards to iPhone and Apple Watch users, and although you can store card data on your iPad or iPod touch, they don’t have NFC hardware to communicate with payment or identification terminals.
Apple’s attitude toward NFC is confusing because the NFC feature is very helpful in the retailer’s store modernization process. But the reason for that seems obvious from apple’s shareholders’ position. The iPhone and Apple Watch are more profitable than the iPad and iPod. Apple Pay is an increasingly important part of Apple’s service business. Why give Apple users other options to hurt Apple Pay’s business?
If you’re an Apple shareholder, the reason seems obvious. The iPhone and Apple Watch generate more revenue than the iPad and iPod, and Apple Pay is an increasingly important part of Apple’s service business. That’s why it’s breaking the status quo by giving Apple users other options?
For at least a year, European regulators have been uneasy about Apple’s approach, arguing that it hurts competition. This week, a bundestag in Germany’s parliament voted to force Apple (and other similar companies) to provide NFC access to its electronic payment competitors at reasonable cost. Although the vote has yet to be signed into law and there are reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to withdraw the clause, there is now said to be “a complete consensus within the government on this initiative”.
Apple hit back at the German move: “We were surprised by the sudden introduction of this legislation” and “we are concerned that this draft law could undermine user-friendliness, data protection and financial information security.” ”
If Germany eventually passes a law requiring Apple to open its NFC interface to competitors, it could succeed in further improving Apple’s global policy to developers and users.