The iPhone 6 could be the first iOS device to pack NFC technology according to a new report.
Various sources have suggested that Apple is looking to introduce Near Field Communication (NFC) technology with the iPhone 6 so that the smartphone could be used to make contactless payments.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has already said the company is looking at ways to integrate mobile payment services into its devices, but several sources have suggested the company will use NFC.
Sources “close to the matter” speaking with Brightwire say Apple has paired up with China’s UnionPay on a mobile payment service.
Under this alleged deal, users would be able to download the bank card app to their Apple Passbook and then make mobile payments at QuickPass POS machines in China.
Apparently this deal could also be used to create an additional payment service that could be used in Apple Stores.
Apple filed an NFC-related patent with the USPTO in January, so the company could surprise us all and introduce the technology with its 2014 flagship.
Way back in 2012, Apple Marketing Head Phil Schiller said NFC technology wouldn’t solve mobile payment problems, but the company is obviously at least experimenting with the technology already.
Cook himself has also hinted that Apple is toying with NFC, suggesting the technology will open up new opportunity for the company’s smartphones.
“I think it’s a really interesting area. We have almost 800 million iTunes accounts and the majority of these have credit cards behind them. We already have people using Touch ID to buy things across our store, so it’s an area of interest to us. And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet,” said Cook to the Wall Street Journal. “I realise that there are some companies playing in it, but you still have a wallet in your back pocket and I do too, which probably means it hasn’t been figured out just yet.”
The idea of the iPhone 6 packing NFC is also support by notorious (and mostly accurate) tech analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities, who said Apple will bring NFC chips to upcoming phones among other new features.
Read more: iOS 8 predictions