Only Apple Pay can use your iPhone NFC chip
Since the launch of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch, most people were excited to hear that Apple has decided to implement an NFC into their devices so that they may be used in the new Apple Pay platform. An NFC chip was a welcomed addition to the iPhone 6, but it seems that we will not be benefiting from it aside from Apple Pay.
The iPhone 6 NFC chip supposedly has serious limitations imposed by Apple, which means that the chip is locked to Apple Pay. Being locked to Apple Pay means that you will not be able to benefit from any NFC functions like pairing with other devices, file sharing, beaming, bootstrapping, access token, NFC tags, smartphone automation and gaming.
Apple has confirmed that since the NFC chip in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are locked to Apple Pay, developer access will not be possible, either. There has been no mention of the Apple Watch having exactly the same restrictions, but it will supposedly be locked to Apple Pay as well. The NFC chip will only be available for use within the Apple Pay software, so mobile payments and authorizations will be available. Nonetheless, this means that you won’t be able to swipe your phone as a boarding pass, transportation token or to unlock hotel rooms.
Unlocking hotel rooms with NFC should have been possible, but if the NFC chip is locked to the Apple Pay software, it might not be possible unless your room credentials will be synced with Apple Pay. This is a major inconvenience, in my point of view, because the whole point of NFC will be limited to Apple Pay, omitting the tons of uses an iPhone 6 user would probably like to have.
It’s not certain that this is a final decision on Apple’s part, and the company might open up the NFC chip to developers later, like they did with Touch ID, but until then, it would be a deal-breaker for many people who would have like to use NFC for other things than Apple Pay. I think it’s the wrong approach on Apple’s part, since NFC payments are not a novelty and iPhone users probably didn’t want the iPhone 6 benefiting from NFC just so that they could use Apple Pay. Why bother putting an NFC chip into the phone if you won’t let users benefit from its full features?
What do you think about the NFC chip in the iPhone 6 being locked to Apple Pay? If you were planning to get an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, would this be a deal-breaker for you? Do you think Apple will open up the NFC chip to developers in the future? Why do you think they chose to lock it to Apple Pay in the first place, in your opinion?