The NFC chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are to be limited to Apple Pay, the company has confirmed.
As it did with its Touch ID fingerprint sensor last year, Apple is approaching this new technology conservatively, preventing third-party developers from tapping into its potential for other actions like quick Bluetooth pairing, sharing contact information and more.
Apple resisted adding an NFC chip to its iPhones for four years while the technology proliferated in the Android and Windows Phone ecosystems, and while quick pairing a smartphone to a Bluteooth speaker is interested, the main use case for it has been for payments.
It’s unclear whether Apple wants to ensure utmost security before rolling out NFC usage to other apps — it will have to explicitly release an API for it, as iOS is more closed down than Android — or if it deems, like so many other things, its varied use cases lack purpose.
It’s likely that if Apple were to open NFC to developers and accessory manufacturers, it would do so under the umbrella of its stringent and expensive Made for iPhone licensing program.