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IOS Iphone Upgrades Apple

New iPhone Prototypes Have Integrated NFC chips and Antenna 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the next-generation dept.
zacharye writes "Apple's next-generation iPhone will feature an integrated NFC chip according to a new report, suggesting the Cupertino, California-based company may soon make its entrance into the mobile payment space. A report from 9to5Mac states that an analysis of code from Apple's latest iOS software includes references to an integrated NFC chip and antenna."
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New iPhone Prototypes Have Integrated NFC chips and Antenna

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  • So this is why Apple is backing off on their claims of virus immunity. NFC is a big target.
    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Monday June 25, 2012 @05:50PM (#40444983) Homepage

      So this is why Apple is backing off on their claims of virus immunity. NFC is a big target.

      That's OK, you'll have to hold it a special way to get it to work.

      It's a feature, not a bug.

      • by Russ1642 (1087959)
        I'm quite good at "holding it in a special way to get it to work".
        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          I'd be happy if they put in a reliable way to disable this NFC bullshit, so it won't be active at all....and hard to re-activate.

          I like a smart phone...I don't need it to be a 'tap' to my money. I have a perfectly good, physical wallet that I trust way more than this.

          I prefer to pay most things in daily life with cash. I don't need or want any more credit than I have (and I have TONS available to me)....I don't want to make it easier to have my cash sucked out of me, especially by someone setting up a rec

          • I have a Galaxy Nexus with the feature, and it's a simple option in the Settings menu to turn it off.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            Well, cashless transactions aren't the only reason for this. It would be great for when your screen breaks, you could move all the data from the broken phone to the replacement easily.

            As to cashless transaction, it wouldn't affect me at all, because I'm not going to be keeping financial info on a phone, anyway (I won't even bank or pay bills by internet).

    • by siddesu (698447)
      What "big target", this has been a feature of many phones in Japan for years, probably with deployment in the tens of millions. I haven't even heard of one successful virus.
    • this is a security vulnerability but it is not one for viruses.

    • So this is why Apple is backing off on their claims of virus immunity. NFC is a big target.

      Oh, the good old days when people simply wrote "First Post!" instead of some nonsense that sounds like it could be on topic.

  • Insane! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haxagon (2454432) on Monday June 25, 2012 @05:46PM (#40444933)

    The Apple smartphone will finally have feature-parity with other smartphones one-to-two generations after the fact? This must have never happened before!

    • Re:Insane! (Score:5, Funny)

      by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday June 25, 2012 @05:57PM (#40445081) Homepage Journal

      The Apple smartphone will finally have feature-parity with other smartphones one-to-two generations after the fact? This must have never happened before!

      Yea, but it wasn't "innovative" before Apple started doing it...

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        At least it's not proprietary, which was their direction when Google released NFC in the Nexus.

        • You might be eating your words when it comes out. We are talking about Apple remember.

          • by Kalriath (849904)

            Indeed. So it'll require an iTunes account and Apple will take 30% of all transactions for "bringing you more customers".

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Badly implemented features that are first to market are often less important than implementing the feature correctly.

      An example is the iPod. The click wheel and master/slave method of managing music was, in the terminology of biology, an overwhelmingly successful adaptation. The MP3 player market effectively ceased to exist. There was just the iPod market. What they did was make it really, really, really, really easy to play your music. Creative Zen, on the other hand, added buttons. And more buttons. And m

    • Re:Insane! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by iluvcapra (782887) on Monday June 25, 2012 @06:27PM (#40445425)

      NFC isn't a feature, use-anywhere mobile payments is a feature. NFC+Google Wallet doesn't deliver use-anywhere.

      Delivering universal mobile payments is not a technology problem, it's a business problem.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        Unfortunately, the odds of Apple playing nice and working with others to implement a "use-anywhere" that's open and usable by everyone are very low.

        • by iluvcapra (782887)

          "Playing nice" in this instance doesn't mean making Google, Microsoft or indie developers happy. It means shaking hands with Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and the Co-Op Interbank Network. Google Wallet plays extremely nice, this doesn't make it successful.

          Apple was completely capable of "playing nice" with the record labels, and continues to play nice with the entertainment conglomerates, publishing houses and most software developers (the ones without a political agenda, at least). Technical interop

          • by russotto (537200)

            The tough nut for this problem isn't the payor, it's the payee. You can put NFC in everyone's pocket but the killer app will be getting it at every POS -- it'd also be nice if they came up with a system that didn't require a credit card (like Google)

            Google Wallet doesn't require a credit card. You can use a prepaid card and fill it from a debit card.

          • by Kalriath (849904)

            The USA is not the world. Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Co-Op Interbank are a small, maybe even tiny, part of the worldwide banking network. You also have giant abominations like Bank of England, Royal Bank of Scotland, Westpac, etc (depending where in the world you are). The real solution, and the one Google took, is to get in with MasterCard or Visa, and leverage the PayPass/PayWave standards by means of a virtual MasterCard or Visa stored on the device, issued by the hardware vendor to the dev

      • NFC is a feature. Mobile payments is really only a very tiny part of what NFC-enabled phones will able do for us.

    • by cayenne8 (626475)

      The Apple smartphone will finally have feature-parity with other smartphones one-to-two generations after the fact? This must have never happened before!

      I actually consider a phone NOT having this NFC crap on it...to be a desirable feature in of itself....

    • The Apple smartphone will finally have feature-parity with other smartphones one-to-two generations after the fact? This must have never happened before!

      To quote Steve Jobs, “It isn’t the consumers’ job to know what they want."

      Sadly, that fact is true. The iPad proved it.

      • by garaged (579941)

        I am a hardcore linux user, and have owned a couple of android phones (currently one) as well as an iphone, ipod touch and a couple of ipads, and I gotta accept that the ipad is one heck of a good tool. Let me elaborate.

        The responsiveness of an ipad is way better than any android tablet I have used, for good or bad, the games available to the ipad are way more and better than the ones for android, and please dont missunderstand me, I dont mean quantity, Im talking more about the actual explotation of capabi

        • by drkstr1 (2072368)
          What about streaming Netflix to you tv from HDMI? Or plugging in some external storage handed to you by a friend? My asus transformer does that, plus a lot more other things that my iPad does not. I do have to agree, the apps are better on the iPad, but I personally get much more use out of the transformer.
          • Streaming to a TV via HDMI is achievable via a dongle. Not as elegant to be sure (and not discounting your point, just clarifying a detail) but it is possible.

          • If you need an excuse to buy another gadget, check out this...

            Second screen applications involve interactivity between smart phones, tablets, or other devices and TV. A second screen application could be a controller for a Google TV application or it could add more functionality to a Google TV application. For example, the YouTube Remote application enables users to browse videos on their smart phone and play them on Google TV

            https://developers.google.com/tv/remote/ [google.com]

            • by marsu_k (701360)

              Somewhat completely offtopic, but I was pleasantly surprised when I tried the official XBMC remote for Android on my S3 - not only does it work very well as a remote, it automatically added a "stream to XBMC" option to the OS when playing video. With Youtube this is pretty much a non-issue as I've already a Youtube addon for XBMC, but there are other erm... video sites that were very quick to embrace HTML5 on their mobile sites. So you can browse "videos" on your phone and have them display on your telly au

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      So what does NFC get me? The ability to pay without my wallet? That's not a big advantage.

      Really - what is NFC's advantage for the consumer? So far, all I've seen is payment processors like Google and carriers each eating into the pie (and you thought a merchant account and Paypal was bad?), but what's in it for the consumer?

      All I see is it's an electronic credit card. Other than carrying my phone instead of having my wallet (which I might need anyways because it has my bus pass and work RFID cards and medi

    • by SpzToid (869795)

      Take A2DP bluetooth for example. Or copy & paste. Or MMS. Nokia offered all for several years before they finally appeared on an iPhone. It was iOS3 actually, released June 17, 2009 when Apple offered those features. The Nokia N95 had those features in March 2007.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS_version_history#iOS_3.x:_third_major_OS_release [wikipedia.org]

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_N95#Multimedia_features [wikipedia.org]

    • Re:Insane! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TummyX (84871) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @06:23AM (#40450419)

      Rushing to market with a feature that's barely functional or usable is not Apple's usual style. At least I have confidence that NFC integration into iPhones is not going to be next to useless like it is on other phones.

    • They still don't have Swype, so they still suck.

  • Fun! (Score:4, Funny)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday June 25, 2012 @05:48PM (#40444965)

    Sweet. Now I don't need to be anywhere near you to steal your personal account information and emulate an RFID "card present" transaction (which doesn't require an ID or any of that other security crap like PINs and stuff)... I'll just wait for your phone to download an update for one of the 100 apps that are set to autoupdate whenever it's within range of a wifi, do an injection attack, and then wait for your personal info to appear in my inbox. Oh Apple, it's nice to finally meet someone who understands me!

    -- Your Best Fan, J. Random Criminal

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Wait, application updates aren't digitally signed or at least delivered via SSL?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by viperidaenz (2515578)
      If you can already load arbitrary code to an iPhone via a wifi injection attack then there are bigger problems than NFC (which has been in android since 2.3 and is already seeing commercial use, way to lead the market Apple...)
    • by Kenja (541830)
      People have their phones set to auto update without a password? How odd... that would mean that they store their apple id credentials in the phone and if its lost anyone who finds it can buy anything from itunes etc. Never even occurred to me to do such a thing.
      • by jo_ham (604554)

        You can't do that even if you want to. Even if your details are saved into the phone, you absolutely *must* enter your password at least once to get it to update. If you update one app then there is a grace period where further updates are allowed without re-authenticating, but the original poster's pie in the sky "just wait for the phone to auto update without user input" is simply not on the cards.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You can't do that even if you want to. Even if your details are saved into the phone, you absolutely *must* enter your password at least once to get it to update.

          In iOS5, what you say is true. If you've been following the threads of developers testing iOS6 you will have read that one of the changes in iOS6 Beta 1 (haven't read yet whether it's still there in today's Beta 2) is that you are never prompted for your password when you download an update of an App.

          I do wonder if Apple's intent behind this change was just to allow Apple and App developers to auto-install security updates on your device in much the same way that the latest beta of Mountain Lion removes (1

        • by hAckz0r (989977)
          All software has flaws in it and phones are no exception. I once (several years ago) attended a "demo" in which an iPhone was both 0wned and back-door'ed in under 15 seconds from the time they got the phones IP address on the network. I'm not a liberty to tell you who or how, but I can tell you they did it with ease. Litterally type in the IP, point, click, upload. Done! That being said, that vulnerbility they leveraged no longer exists, but others do. That little demo really made me take notice about the v
          • by dimeglio (456244)

            Obviously, it's not something anyone can exploit without some expert knowledge. Since banks insure for theft and there are detailed audit trails for any money spent, you have little to worry about should your phone's NFC get hacked. Just pick your bank wisely.

        • by henrym (414280)

          Under IOS 6, you no longer have to enter your password to update apps that are already on your phone. An attack vector? Perhaps, but at least you still have to initiate the download yourself..there isn't any automatic updating feature. I'm personally glad to see this...it's not like the average user really has any idea what the update will do other than "bug fixes".

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      You must have not met a "random J criminal" they are so stupid they can barely operate a calculator let alone a sophisticated device.

      They cant figure out how to get past the simple video camera or home security alarm from ADT....

      Yeah, I have no worries at all about this, because it can be easily turned on and off with a setting.

    • by zedrdave (1978512)
      > I'll just wait for your phone to download an update for one of the 100 apps that are set to autoupdate whenever it's within range of a wifi, do an injection attack

      If only software engineer had devised some sort of method to ensure that code ran on the OS had not been tampered with. And if only Apple engineers had heard of it [apple.com].

      If somebody ever comes up with such a clever method to foil J. Random Criminal's cunning ploy, I suggest we call it something that brings to mind the analogy with real-world
  • Follow the leader (Score:2, Informative)

    by Tough Love (215404)

    Whoa, don't tell me Apple is playing follow the leader with Google [android.com]. I thought Apple always thinks of everything first, and this is why they like to sue everybody.

    • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@@@gmail...com> on Monday June 25, 2012 @06:48PM (#40445713)

      Yes, except the crucial difference is Apple is going with a standard for a change (unlike Google's original implementation).

      And I know it's a tired old meme, but Apple rarely thinks of anything first. The reason that they're so successful is that they are very effective at judging what the consumer wants, and refining things that already exist but could be easier to use/more fun/more refined (all in one computer, portable music player, tablet computer, smartphone etc).

      • Re:Follow the leader (Score:4, Informative)

        by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @12:46AM (#40448915) Homepage Journal

        Apple is going with a standard for a change (unlike Google's original implementation).

        Google Wallet is an implementation of MasterCard's Paypass, which is a standardized variant of EMV. There's nothing non-standard about Google's implementation. They had to choose MasterCard Paypass, Visa Paywave or Discover Zip so that it would work on the already-deployed acceptance devices, but all three are basically interoperable and all are based on EMV standards. I'm sure Paypass was selected based on who was interested in partnering, though I don't actually know how that choice was made.

        (Note: I work for Google, on technology related to Wallet. I also worked in the smart card and NFC industry for nearly 15 years before joining Google.)

        • by jo_ham (604554)

          That is interesting information to know. Like a man in orthopeadic shoes, I stand corrected.

      • Yes, except the crucial difference is Apple is going with a standard for a change (unlike Google's original implementation).

        To be fair to Google. I don't think that was their intent, it was initially just a bug on their part that was eventually fixed over the air.

        And yes, Android has bugs on occasion, just like iOS has bugs on occasion as well.

  • obviously (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    anybody who watched the keynote and saw the passbook feature of ios6 had to know this was coming

  • After reading TFA and other sources, I still am not clear on what the NFC chip does, and what its benefits are...... ?

    • Re:What is NFC? (Score:4, Informative)

      by MachDelta (704883) on Monday June 25, 2012 @07:18PM (#40446195)

      It's a very (very) short range RFID chip. It can read/respond to RFID tags like those found on credit cards ("swipe to pay"), and so can become a replacement for your credit cards or other bank cards. The idea is, one day, instead of carrying a wallet you'll just carry your phone and pay for everything that way.

      It has other uses too, like using an RFID tag to trigger certain behaviors in a phone (eg: putting one behind the phone cradle in your car, which triggers bluetooth, opens navigation, turns vibration off, etc etc) but they're secondary as far as the general public is concerned.

    • by dimeglio (456244)

      It's a money draining technology. It's great if you're on the receiving end or insanely rich.

    • I had to go go Google to look it up. Would it KILL people to not assume that everyone knows every damned acronym in the universe when they submit articles?

    • NFC by itself, doesn't do much, but layer it with other technologies, and that's when some of its benefits really shine through.

      For instance, combine NFC with Bluetooth, and pairing with a Bluetooth headset (even one that your phone has never paired with before) becomes as simple as unlocking your screen lock, and tapping the back of your phone to your Bluetooth headset (the screen lock in this case is usually used as a precaution that you do not accidentally trigger NFC events on your phone when your phone

  • I don't understand why people think Apple will have anything to do with NFC when they have already been setting things up for quite some time to use Bluetooth 4.0 for the same applications.

    Why have both? All Apple needs to do is push stores to offer bluetooth 4.0 compatible equipment, which should cost about as much as NFC handling equipment... and it's not even like Bluetooth is not a standard.

    • I don't understand why people think Apple will have anything to do with NFC when they have already been setting things up for quite some time to use Bluetooth 4.0 for the same applications.

      Why have both? All Apple needs to do is push stores to offer bluetooth 4.0 compatible equipment, which should cost about as much as NFC handling equipment... and it's not even like Bluetooth is not a standard.

      I don't necessarily believe its how Apple sees it, but IMO, from the very start until today, Bluetooth is all hype, a cool word for a technology that had a narrow window of usefulness that is somehow clinging to the perception of relevance. Except for wireless peripherals like mice and keyboards, every other implementation is a poor match. I have yet to hear or hear of any Bluetooth headset that do not make the audio of your cell call sound about half as good as landlines from the 1920's, and the experience

      • I agree with you about higher-end bluetooth connectivity, and about bluetooth headsets specifically (I dislike them). That part is not working out too well.

        But the lower power mode in 4.0 is perfectly suited to a whole host of devices that require minimal connectivity, payment systems among them... but also many other kinds of sensors that need to be able to run on solar or years on a battery.

        Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC are both new - but Bluetooth 4.0 is in a LOT more iOS devices at this point than there have b

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Bluetooth was very useful on my last two phones. It was the easiest way to send photos and home movies and backups of the address book and sound recordings to the computer, since neither phone had wifi. It works fine for those purposes, the dongle I had to get for the PC was worth the $20.

        I'm sending a bluetooth dongle to my daughter for her computer, since her iPhone has wifi but it can't be used for sharing files with her computer (had a conversation with her about that the other night, she has no interne

  • Knowing Apple they will probably patent it or something obvious to do with it and then demand import bans on all the handset manufacturers who already have it for copying their unique innovations. I actually used to like Apple just can't stand the way they do business any more.

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