Until now large scale Apple Pay Express Transit use has been limited to Tokyo (Suica) and Beijing/Shanghai (China Transit). Apple Pay Suica is by far Apple’s largest Express Transit market since Suica has been in use for transit and store purchases nationwide for over a decade and on mobile phones since 2006.
Because of the larger Apple Pay Suica user base and higher use rate, it was easier to identify the iPhone X Suica problem even though it was a NFC problem affecting all NFC modes, A-B-F, and related technologies (FeliCa, PBOC, EMV). Though Apple never publicly acknowledged the hardware problem (sadly, far too common these days), Apple quietly exchanged bad iPhone X devices for Revision B iPhone X devices for pesky, persistent users who had Apple Pay Express Transit problems in Japan or China.
The launch of Portland’s HOP card and Chicago’s Ventra card on Apple Pay Transit will be the first large scale deployment of Apple Pay Express Transit use in America. This raises a very interesting question. Will Apple exchange bad iPhone X devices for those users who will undoubtedly experience transit gate/transit reader errors in Portland and Chicago? I certainly hope they do but we won’t know until the services go live on Apple Pay. Judging from Apple Pay Transit day 1 user reactions in Singapore, there are plenty of bad iPhone X NFC devices out there waiting to be discovered.
Meanwhile here is a iPhone X Suica NFC Problem Exchange Guide to help you understand the problem.