The new iPhone that debuted today will not have cashless society chip despite a market trend in that direction.
Prior to today’s release, it was expected that the popular smartphone would adopt a standard for NFC allowing cashless credit card payment.
NFC, or Near Field Communication, is a standard widely used by other smartphones. It was initially used to establish a radio connection – RFID, or radio-frequency identification – between devices for the exchange of data, but was soon developed to be used for mobile payment schemes.
Google Wallet, for instance, uses NFC technology on a number of smartphones with the exception of the iPhone. Google Wallet supports all major credit and debit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
It should not be assumed, however, that Apple is opposed to the cashless society. There are a number of accessories that adapt the iPhone to NFC as well as having it operate as a an RFID reader and writer. Moreover, a large number of credit card companies and banks offer apps that allow the device to be used as a digital credit card.
In addition to GPS tracking – for now limited by a recent Supreme Court ruling – the phone and also the Apple iPad tracked the locations of users in a hidden file.
Apple addressed the issue after two programmers, Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, presented their findings at the O’Reilly Where 2.0 technology conference in San Francisco last year.
“Their research showed the iPhone and 3G iPads have been logging the location data for the past year after a software update installed a new hidden file on the mobile devices,” Niamh Marnell wrote on May 1, 2011.