Can Apple's iPhone 6 make NFC user friendly?

Summary:NFC is a nice technology that just hasn't been implemented well. Perhaps Apple changes that equation.

Apple's iPhone 6 will reportedly implement Near Field Communications technology for mobile payments and other uses. If Apple goes the NFC route, nearly every smartphone will have the technology. What's unclear is whether anyone will actually use it.

nfc turned off
No one has given me a reason to turn on NFC. Will Apple succeed?

Wired reported that Apple is planning a mobile payment system that would use NFC somehow. For techheads, the move could equate to a big yawn. Android devices have had NFC for a while and in theory you could use mobile payments on these smartphones. Windows Phones have NFC too.

To recap, NFC technology enables:

  • Mobile payments with a tap.
  • Speedy swapping of data.
  • Identity systems.

Then why are we wound up about Apple using NFC? We're hoping that maybe Apple does NFC right.

To date, NFC is a nice technology that was built to advance radio-frequency identification. The implementation of NFC has been clunky to say the least. Most of us wouldn't notice if NFC somehow was removed from the phone completely.

The user workflow is one reason we're not all tapping our phones to pay for goods. Samsung talks about beaming docs and files with NFC, but few of us actually do it in the wild. An informal poll around the office found many of us have NFC turned off.

Here's the issue: There aren't any applications that would give us a good reason to turn NFC on. Maybe Apple can. If not, NFC will remain a nice underutilized technology.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone, Smartphones

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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