The iPhone's NFC chip is locked to Apple Pay

The iPhone's NFC chip is locked to Apple Pay
We know that Apple has finally decided it is time to adopt NFC in its mobile devices, and has put it to use in the new Apple Pay system, which is essentially the same as the various NFC payment options that have existed before, except that Apple has the market power to get retailers on board in a way that Google and others never could. Unfortunately, it sounds like the iPhone's NFC will have serious limitations set by Apple. 

Apple has confirmed that the NFC chip in the new iPhone will be locked to Apple Pay. This means no developer access, and no NFC functionality outside of the Apple Pay software. So, if you were going to cover your house, car, and office with NFC stickers ready to toggle your iPhone settings or launch certain apps, you can forget that. And, if you want to transfer files or contacts, or pair your iPhone with a Bluetooth device, NFC will not be an option for that. 

Of course, this is fairly standard procedure for Apple, and there is no reason to believe that this is a permanent decision. Last year, Apple introduced TouchID, which was only available for unlocking your device and authenticating iTunes downloads, but now it has been opened up to 3rd party developers. The same could happen with NFC, but we'll have to wait and see. And, even if NFC options are opened up on the iPhone, we wouldn't expect it to be used for file transfers, since Apple already has AirDrop for that. 

Related phones

iPhone 6
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1810 mAh(14h 3G talk time)
iPhone 6 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2915 mAh(24h 3G talk time)



1. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012



Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

iLock, iControl, iDismal.

33. designerfx

Posts: 76; Member since: Mar 26, 2013


55. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

iRetarded BEFORE you go deleting..... Retardation: Retardation is the act or result of delaying; the extent to which anything is retarded or delayed; that which retards or delays.

24. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Its a iNFC.....dude Not NFC

26. cncrim

Posts: 1590; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

I knew it, I knew Apple will do that lock it down. So iUseless.

47. InspectorGadget80 unregistered


54. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013


2. nathan.carter

Posts: 416; Member since: Aug 11, 2014

Well thats a dissapointment. (were not shaing with your android)

3. xfire99

Posts: 1207; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

lol...iGimmick makes it iCrap useless.

48. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

iNoFreedom for NFC

4. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2125; Member since: May 29, 2014

Of course it's locked down. I don't know why anyone would expect anything different from Apple.

5. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Wasn't iTouch locked to Apple when the iPhone 5s was released until then opened it up to 3rd parties in iOS 8? They'll probably do the same with NFC.

16. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

NFC is different story. Apple don't like file transfer without their permission.

17. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

They won't make nfc open.... Because they don't allow file transfer with bluetooth...which is what nfc does in first place.... to create a connection between two they can transfer files over bluetooth....there many other possibilities too....

51. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3168; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

You mean file sharing with other devices not bearing fruit. To think you need an app to share via BT and only with other iDevices.

6. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

LOL. !

7. imnotascammer

Posts: 160; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

Well, is anyone here expecting anything more? Lol.

11. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Bluetooth pairing would have been expected. Maybe they're reserving it for other exclusives, like Apple/Beats branded speakers and hands-free sets.

8. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

Those ugly lines on the back are only for this...gimmick.

9. suneeboy

Posts: 201; Member since: Oct 02, 2012

Had NFC when I had a Nexus. Used Google Wallet a few times, never used Android beam. Never used it for anything else. Apple doesn't put features in its phone just to put in features. There has to be a practical use for a feature based on the research they do on the market. How many people really want to place an NFC chip on their wall, and change the settings of their phone when they walk in? Not many. How many people tap their phones to share pics? I can tell you I never did that once. When you try to do everything, you lose sight of who is actually buying your product.

14. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Ofcourse I am just one person, but I use it quite extensively. NFC tag in the car to turn on BT, turn off wifi and start the app torque. NFC on my wireless charger on my desk to turn on my pc and turn on the desk lights. 2 NFC's on my nightstand 1 to set the alarm and turn on bedroom lights, the other to turn off the alarm and start my coffee machine. Stuff like that :)

21. bestmvno

Posts: 251; Member since: Mar 07, 2014

Which light bulbs are you using? The bulbs I use have an app interface such that, at least at the moment, I can not program nfc tags to turn lights on and off.

30. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I have Philips Hue, but I use Tasker with Autohue plugin. Also when I'm at home and one of the lights are on, they blink when I receive a message (Gmail, Viber, Hangouts, etc). So I use NFC to run specific tasks within Tasker.

35. bestmvno

Posts: 251; Member since: Mar 07, 2014

That's pretty cool. I use TCP connected. I'm kind of stuck without NFC until there's a 3rd party solution. I know someone was working on it, and I've seen their demo.

44. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Can you tell me brand and model? perhaps I can find a workaround

46. bestmvno

Posts: 251; Member since: Mar 07, 2014

Sure. That would be great. TCP connected is the brand, and a starter kit, which is available at home depot, has the model number CCG2LD11. I have that kit, plus a few other TCP connected bulbs added to the system.

56. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

Beauty of Android

39. suneeboy

Posts: 201; Member since: Oct 02, 2012

That's pretty cool man. Hard to market that though. I work in consulting, so I'm just thinking, what type of a use case would we have to create to show the value in that? Also, Apple doesn't want to interact with 3rd parties. They want everything proprietary. If they unlock the NFC, most likely they will have partners in place that have devices that interact with it. If you want your car to activate with NFC, it needs to be CarPlay. No PC's, only Macs. Lightbulbs will need to be specific lightbulbs. You see where I'm going with this? It's about ecosystem with Apple.

43. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I know Apple is doing things differently. How I set things up (using tasker and plugins) is hardly relevant for everyday users. Like home automation, it's already there, Apple just wants 1 app for them all with a typical iOS interface. Which is good, that's the way most iOS users want to work.

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