John Gruber is a bit legendary for his inside knowledge at Apple. He won’t leak Apple news often, but when he does, he’s almost always correct. He references a post where a blogger on Re/code made mention of an Apple wearable being revealed in the fall, but later claimed to have no inside knowledge, that he was just making a joke. But new evidence points towards Apple revealing much more than an iPhone this September, and could actually prove him to be right. Now Gruber has written a tounge-in-cheek post about a new joke he’s working on. The joke involves NFC, secure mobile payments, and a new iPhone. His full quote is below. Could Apple be working on an NFC wallet for iOS, including the iPhone and the iWatch? It’s actually much more likely than you’d think.
I’ve been working on a new joke — about NFC and a new secure enclave where you can store your credit cards, so you can pay for things at brick and mortar retail stores just by taking out your iPhone, but only if it’s one of the new iPhones — but no one seems to get my sense of humor.
It seems as though Apple has been slowly preparing for a mobile payment system. First, they created a digital and secure way to store gift cards, tickets, and membership cards with Passbook. Next, they introduced a fast way for users to verify their identity with a tap with the highly accurate and reliable fingerprint sensor, TouchID with the iPhone 5s. Now they’re ready to add the final piece of the puzzle to that list: NFC.
Now, the all metal design of the iPhone would block NFC signals, and you can’t cram all the antennas into the top and bottom of the device, can you? Maybe you can, but Apple doesn’t have to worry about that. Just like the iPad, the iPhone 6 will have a cut out Apple logo. This logo will function as a “window” for wireless signals. What would Apple need a window on the back of the phone for? WiFi, wireless charging, or NFC. Since WiFi antennas are currently positioned in the top or bottom of the iPhone, it’s likely to be used for one of the technologies we haven’t seen in the iPhone yet. That just leaves NFC and wireless charging, both would be great additions to the device. How we, NFC is far more likely, given the products Apple has used to prepare for a secure mobile wallet, and leaks showing a position for an NFC chip on the logic board for the iPhone 6.
With Gruber’s post, previous products, leaks, and a bit of reasoning, it seems likely that Apple is finally ready for NFC payments on the iPhone. Now that the technology has been tested, is more widely available, and can be made secure by Apple, they’re ready to release it into the wild. Still, this is something that has been rumored in the past, and could change last minute. September 9th will reveal many of Apple’s long kept secret products, but will an NFC-equipped iPhone be one of them?