The NFC Chip In Your New iPhone Is Only Good For Apple Pay — For Now

Illustration for article titled The NFC Chip In Your New iPhone Is Only Good For Apple Pay — For Now

You're not going to be able to use that NFC chip in your shiny new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus for anything other than Apple Pay. No tapping to pair your phone with NFC-enabled speakers, no NFC tags all over your house, no nothing. Sorry to burst your bubble.


According to an email that Apple sent to Cult of Mac, Apple is locking down NFC, at least in this first year. Naturally, the company didn't comment on future plans for the NFC chip. Let's just say that you won't find any references to the chip in any promotional materials for the new iPhones. Instead, Apple will be focusing entirely the new Apple Pay capability that the chip will bring to your phone.

This isn't really surprising. Apple did the same thing last year when it introduced the TouchID fingerprint sensor with the iPhone 5S. For the first year, you could use the sensor to only unlock your phone and buy apps and media from iTunes. But with iOS 8, Apple is opening up TouchID to developers, so you will be able to use it within third-party apps as well.

It's safe to assume that's exactly what will happen with the NFC chip next year. [Cult of Mac]



So how compatible is it with existing NFC standards?

Tokyo, for instance has tens of thousands of railroad fare-gates, a large proportion of which are NFC enabled (and there are many retailers using the same standards). Many Android, and older non-smart, phones will work with them via NFC. Will iphone6 users be able to do the same thing?