A long-standing rumor about the iPhone experience has been that Apple would bring NFC (acronymic for “near field communication”) technology to its best-selling device. A new source says that NFC and an integrated mobile wallet payment system will become the “hallmark” feature of the iPhone 6 when it’s announced in early September.
Apple has been steadily building its mobile wallet payment patents over the course of the last year and a half in particular. In August 2012, Apple filed its first iWallet patent that would allow payments to be made on an “iDevice GUI.” The patent was hailed as the “virtual equivalent of a credit card swipe.”
In January of last year, Apple filed a second iWallet patent that allowed for an E-wallet payment system whereby one could “swipe to confirm” a payment sent to a friend. A January 31, 2013 patent called for a cash-dispensing experience by way of an iPhone that would get needed cash to you in the absence of ATMs. An April 4, 2013 patent calls for financial transactions that includes authentication signatures and transaction options for financial payments.
A May 2, 2013 patent calls for adding products to an iPhone user interface by scanning a surrounding kiosk. This patent opens the way for a shopping experience similar to what Amazon has tried to achieve in its Fire phone experience. June 2013 saw the inclusion of an iWallet payment patent that would set parameters for transactions that could be controlled via iTunes. Apple decided to focus on how iPhones could interact with optical codes by way of an in-built optical code scanning system within the iPhone.
January of this year saw an Apple patent related to iWallet and iBeacon, and we’ve seen Apple open up iOS to allow one to pay for an Apple item within the Apple store app itself in December (one month before this patent was approved). Earlier this Spring, Apple decided to integrate NFC and non-NFC communications in one antenna.
At the end of July, Apple added security controls to the rumored iWallet payment system that would allow parents to track the spending purchases of their children. Apple announced at WWDC 2014 back in June that it would allow parents to approve their children’s spending purchases before iTunes would download a paid app – and that Apple’s “Family Sharing” feature would eliminate the worry of parents regarding their children’s spending abilities when parents are out of reach.
As of two weeks ago, Apple filed a patent related to centralized account fraudulent engine (or CAFÉ) that would allow a request to be accepted or denied based on a username and password. In most cases, users who make purchases on a network that’s not common to everyday use (such as a public bookstore Wi-Fi network, however) would receive an email at their Apple ID email address telling them that someone tried to access their account – and instruct them on what to do if a purchase was made or attempted and it wasn’t initiated by the user.
Apple is in a good place to institute NFC, and a mobile wallet payment system due to the over 800 million iTunes credit card accounts that Apple has at its disposal. While Apple has said that it intends to make use of Touch ID to bring payment transaction authentication to pass, Samsung has already instituted something similar with its own fingerprint scanner that allows Galaxy S5 users (and soon, Galaxy Note 4 users) to make PayPal payments and conduct financial transactions.
The iPhone 6, from credible reports, will come with two display sizes (4.7-inch and 5.5-inch), the use of Gorilla Glass and sapphire crystal (depending on high-end or low-end devices), two battery sizes (1,810mAh for 4.7-inch display, 2,915mAh battery for 5.5-inch display), a 13MP back camera that implements Sony’s Exmor camera sensor, and will run iOS 8.
Apple also intends to bring two iWatch models (1.5-inch, 1.3-inch) to the iPhone 6 announcement, with both having AMOLED displays that will utilize Apple’s Health and HealthKit apps. Apple’s been working with a number of top hospitals in the United States to integrate your medical information will real-time responses to medical emergencies.