iPhone 4S has no NFC chip

Apple is wise to delay use of NFC technology while users remain wary of mobile payments, analysts say

Speculation for months suggested Apple would put an Near-Field Communication chip in its next iPhone. But when the iPhone 4S was unveiled this week, the mobile payment technology was missing from the device.

It wasn't that Apple doesn't like NFC technology, but they apparently decided to wait until mobile payment systems are more widely adopted, analysts said.

Apple officials didn't respond to a request to comment on the decision not to include NFC in the iPhone 4S.

Rival Google has embraced NFC with its Google Wallet app that's supported on the NFC-ready Samsung Nexus S smartphone sold by Sprint.

Several analysts said Apple won't be hurt by waiting to deliver an NFC-ready iPhone. NFC technology is rolling out slowly in the U.S. and surveys have shown many Americans are still relatively uninterested are in the technology, perhaps because of security concerns, they noted.

"Apple took a calculated risk that NFC takeoff will happen over a number of years, and that they wouldn't be hurt if they didn't include it in the new iPhone this year," said Mark Hung, an analyst at Gartner. "That bet has paid off."

Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, added, "Given that NFC and e-commerce from phone is still very early on, I think Apple has not really missed the boat on this. In about six to 12 months when NFC starts to gain momentum, Apple will have a new device that includes it. That will be timely enough in my opinion."

Gold and Hung both said engineering NFC into a smartphone is difficult and time consuming and requires a combined software and hardware development effort by a manufacturer.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen , or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com .

Read more about mobile and wireless in Computerworld's Mobile and Wireless Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesGoogleAppleconsumer electronicsMobile and WirelessMobile Apps and Services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?