The iPhone 6 could use NFC technology made by NXP, the same company behind the iPhone 5S M7 co-processor.
Apple is reportedly partnering with Dutch chipmaker NXP to supply an NFC chip for the iPhone 6, bringing mobile payment functionality to iOS for the first time.
According to Financial Times sources, who claim to be familiar with Apple’s plans, the two companies have been working together on a new contactless payment system utilising NFC technology.
Supposedly this new e-wallet system will be directly linked to users’ iTunes accounts, and therefore existing stored credit card details.
NXP already has a significant stake in Apple’s iOS line-up thanks it providing the M7 co-processor found in the iPhone 5S.
The NFC chip will also provide uses beyond an e-wallet system of course. It could be used to increase the iPhone 6’s compatibility with the internet of things devices like fitness trackers or smart home appliances.
The new iPhone 6 operating system, iOS 8, introduces a new API for smart home products called HomeKit. Software and hardware tied to HomeKit could use NFC technology to connect with smart home devices in the future.
Apple already has a number of NFC related patents to its name and this is far from the first time the technology has been rumoured for the iPhone 6.
It could well be that Apple’s new mobile payments system isn’t based on NFC alone. It already has its iBeacon technology, which works using a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for short range wireless functions.