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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending Sept. 20

John Cox | Sept. 23, 2013
Sapphire gleaming, Big Things, solar secrets, NFC angst.

He claims there is a "new rumor" that "Apple will change the face of solar charging for smartphones next year by implementing well-establish patents for an iPhone 6 battery that will feature a solar charging panel that actually works."

He doesn't say where he heard or read that rumor and doesn't link to anything about it. But that seems like a quibble when Apple is about to change the face of solar charging. Talk about a new dawn.

iPhone 6 will not have NFC/mobile payments...unless it does

Apple just isn't interested in NFC, no matter what anyone says, according to Supratim Adhikari, writing at BusinessSpectator, based in Australia.

His rather plaintive headline is: "Will Apple ever give NFC a chance?" 

His short answer: no.

"The lack of NFC capability on the latest iPhones will grate those who have been pinning their hopes on making payments as simple as waving a phone in front of a reader," he says. "For many the inclusion of the technology on the iPhone was seen as the seminal moment needed to take NFC primetime, but Apple isn't interested and it's hard to see it change its mind in a hurry."

How can this be? "Everyone knows" how important NFC is: it's convenient, it will reduce fraud, and it's so cool: waving your phone around and buying concert tickets, and beer, and flat panel TVs, and new video games. Apple owes it to the industry, to us!

But NFC is hardly a done deal, as Greg Bensinger writing at the Wall Street Journal's Digits blog makes clear.

He cites data from Gartner analyst Mark Hung that less than 100,000 NFC-enabled readers are in use in the U.S. Compare that to traditional credit card and debit card readers, which are like everywhere, including those red Salvation Army donation kettles. Bensinger notes that Google's effort to create a digital wallet linked to NFC chips in some Sprint phones is faltering, partly because other carriers are creating their own NFC solution, a joint venture called Isis. And it's already available in two TWO! U.S. cities. And then there's a drove of startups scrambling to offer mobile apps and different payment options.

And then there's Apple, with its still pretty mysterious iBeacon technology that's part of iOS 7. "Apple and eBay's PayPal are working on technology that can detect a smartphone's presence in a store through Bluetooth and send coupons or enable payments wirelessly," says Bensinger. "That's more flexible than NFC, which works through frequencies transmitted from a phone that is in close proximity to a reading device."

But some people just can't let it go. "Apple may ultimately regret its decision not to include NFC in the iPhone 5, Gartner's Mark Hung said. If they don't put NFC in an iPhone soon, they risk being a technology laggard,' he said."

Apple: the world-renowned technology laggard because it refuses to do what everyone says it ought to do.


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