New Core NFC Capabilities for iPhone XS and iPhone XR

New Core NFC tricks for new iPhones

Another quick note: Apple has uploaded a new Core NFC Tech Talk in the WWDC App and online for background reading of NFC tags with iPhone XS and iPhone XR.

UPDATE
There is much much more: Welcome the new era of A12 Bionic NFC and iOS 12

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No More Apple Pay Suica Battery Worries with iPhone XS Global FeliCa

iPhone XS Global FeliCa Spec

Just when I thought I could pack it in and go to sleep after the Apple Keynote finished up at 3:30 AM Tokyo time, Apple uploaded the new iPhone XS specs and there is an interesting detail: Global FeliCa is there of course but also a new item “Reserve Power Express Transit”.

It may be late and I may not be thinking clearly but I suspect this is a new FeliCa function of iPhone XS that implements what Mobile Suica already does on Android which is that Suica works on those devices even when the power is off. Transactions are limited when power is off but it works.

Apple has added this feature to Global FeliCa in iPhone XS and iPhone XR as well. Since FeliCa is implemented on the A-Series chip, a Virtual FeliCa if you will not a real dedicated FeliCa chip, this is quite an accomplishment for the A-12 chip team.

Ugh, just when I wanted to go to sleep and forget about upgrading to iPhone XS.

UPDATE
There is much much more: Welcome the new era of A12 Bionic NFC and iOS 12

NFC Goods on Tap for September 12 Apple Event

Apple is using the September 12 event to show off the new NFC Wallet Pass feature of iOS 12 and watchOS 5 to invited journalists and guests running the iOS 12 beta. The NFC feature was unveiled at WWDC and will be used for Student ID Cards in Wallet. Here’s an overview of NFC related news expected for September 12.

NFC Passes
Apple clearly wants to promote NFC Passes in Wallet over clunky QR Codes. Apple also wants to promote NFC Passes on Apple Watch over iPhone: NFC Passes are gorgeously displayed exclusively on the watchOS 5 page so expect them during the Apple Watch segment. Assa Abloy and Blackboard are working with Apple to make those happen. You might remember Assa Abloy from The Information rumor piece about door locks and ID Passes coming to Wallet.

Temple University’s OWLCard and John Hopkins J-Card offer some clues how they will work in Wallet:

  1. Contactless student ID cards are Stored Value (SV)
  2. Because they are SV cards, they can be recharged

Since they will reside in Apple Pay Wallet this means NFC Student ID Cards can be ‘recharged’ with Apple Pay credit cards instead of running to the nearest ‘refill/recharge’ station. Anytime, Anywhere Recharge.

Sound familiar? My goodness it’s just like Apple Pay Suica that you can recharge on the go and use for Suica coin lockers. The only real difference is that Apple Pay Student ID Cards cannot be used for transit. At least not yet.

An interesting aspect of implementing NFC Passes in Wallet is the PassKit NFC Certificate requirement issued by Apple to the developer and strictly controlled for security purposes. If Apple wants to open up NFC access to more developers, wider NFC Certificate distribution should be the ticket for developers to gain NFC access that was not possible up to now. The Apple Pay Developer page seems to back this up: “discover how to create contactless passes for rewards cards, gift cards, tickets, and more.”

NFC Reward Cards, Gift Cards, Tickets and more?
It would be in line with expectations if Apple announces NFC reward cards and gift cards alongside NFC Passes and Student IDs. It would be beyond expectations, but not far-fetched, if Apple also announces Apple Pay Transit for MIFARE based Taiwan transit cards, FeliCa based Octopus Hong Kong transit cards or perhaps something else…like Apple Pay PASMO. We won’t know until the event as Apple certainly cut code references out of the iOS 12 beta mix to keep code spelunkers at bay.

More Global FeliCa iPhone
The new iPhone models and Apple Watch Series 4 will certainly have Global FeliCa, hopefully free of the NFC hardware issues that plagued iPhone X production. The more important question for the Japanese market however is not the top-tier models but the iPhone 7 replacement aka iPhone SE 2 as tweeted by Guilherme Rambo.

SE 2 should have Global FeliCa as well and will make a great entry-level Apple Pay Suica device, not only for Japanese students on a budget but older Japanese who don’t need or want the latest bells and whistles. An entry level Global FeliCa iPhone has been missing from the JP lineup and will certainly help Apple hold onto Japanese market share. It will certainly help too if Apple throws in important Apple Pay Transit additions such as Apple Pay PASMO.

Long term I think Apple Watch will be next revolution thing for transit but only when transit cards and credit cards can be loaded directly to Apple Watch without an iPhone. When that happens, and it eventually will, watch out.

Enjoy the show.

UPDATE
Welcome to the new era of A12 Bionic NFC and iOS 12

Guilherme Rambo SE2 Tweet

 

Where Does the S Go?

New iPhones and Global FeliCa
More Apple Pay Suica Inbound Users

iPhone leaks from Apple are phun. People are debating whether we’ll get XS, X s or X S on the box. Whatever.

Other people are wondering if the new iPhone models and Apple Watch Series 4 will have Global FeliCa. They certainly will, hopefully free of the NFC hardware issues that plagued iPhone X production. The more important question for the Japanese market however is not the top-tier models but the iPhone 7 replacement aka iPhone SE 2 as tweeted by Guilherme Rambo.

SE 2 should be Global FeliCa as well and will make a great entry level Apple Pay Suica device, not only for Japanese students on a budget but older Japanese who don’t need or want the latest bells and whistles. An entry level Global FeliCa iPhone has been missing from the JP lineup and will certainly help Apple hold onto Japanese market share. It will certainly help too if Apple throws in a few NFC Wallet goodies and Apple Pay Transit additions such as Apple Pay PASMO at the event. We shall see.

Long term I think Apple Watch will be next revolution thing for transit but only when transit cards and credit cards can be added directly to Apple Watch without an iPhone. When that happens, and it will, watch out.

Guilherme Rambo SE2 Tweet