Apple is restricting the functionality of the Near Field Communications chipset embedded in its new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch products to its Apple Pay mobile payments program, according to multiple reports.
Softcard, the mobile payments company recently rebranded from Isis, said it is working with Apple to enable its own solution on the iPhone, just as Apple unveiled its own mobile payments program, Apple Pay. Although Softcard's announcement could be seen as a way to maintain its relevance now that Apple will offer a competing solution, the news underscores the idea that Apple Pay will spur consumer and retailer interest and adoption in Near Field Communication technology and mobile payments, according to analysts and industry players.
Apple announced a new mobile payments program called Apple Pay that Apple CEO Tim Cook said "will forever change the way all of us buy things." The new service will pit Apple against rivals like Google and Softcard, formerly Isis, which has the backing of Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile US.
A day before Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 6 and the iWatch, reports from a variety of sources are helping to flesh out details about the two gadgets as well as the companies likely to support Apple's products. Specifically, CVS and Walgreens are reportedly planning to support Apple's NFC-based mobile payments service; Apple is investing in new iBeacon-powered in-store shopping technology; and Apple is building an App Store to cater specifically to its forthcoming smart watch.
The Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) unveiled the brand name CurrentC for its mobile wallet, loyalty and offers platform, which it will launch in 2015 at around 110,000 retail locations, including at Walmart, Best Buy and Target.
Apple is going to add Near Field Communications technology to its forthcoming wearable device, expected to be called the iWatch, according to a Wall Street Journal article. That would enable customers to use the watch to process digital payments wirelessly and expand the gadget's functionality beyond fitness and health monitoring.
When Apple holds its media event Sept. 9 at the Flint Center for Performing Arts, near its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., industry watchers are anticipating it will finally unveil its long-rumored wearable, which many have dubbed the iWatch. However, the possible announcement of the next version of its iPhone, which could be called the iPhone 6, will likely draw the majority of attention.
Apple is hosting a media event Sept. 9 at the Flint Center for Performing Arts, near its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. Although Apple is expected to unveil its first new product line since 2010 at the event--its long-rumored wearable, which many have dubbed the iWatch--the main draw is expected to be Apple's announcement of the next iteration of the iPhone, which will likely be called the iPhone 6. FierceWireless has compiled six of the most prominent iPhone 6 rumors, with a special focus on the wireless technologies that may or may not make it into the final design.
Apple has struck deals with Visa, MasterCard and American Express for its mobile payments program it will unveil alongside the next iPhone, according to a Bloomberg report.
Now that Apple has officially notified the world that it is hosting a media event Sept. 9, the rumors about its next products are flying fast and furious. One major new one is that, according to Wired, the next iPhone will contain support for Near Field Communications technology for mobile payments.