Apple’s Phil Schiller: Passbook Doesn’t Need NFC, Lightning Dock Is Here To Stay

Apple’s Phil Schiller: Passbook Doesn’t Need NFC, Lightning Dock Is Here To Stay

Phil Schiller unveiled the iPhone 5 to the world earlier today.

One of the glaring omissions in Apple’s iPhone 5 keynote was any mention of NFC. The rumor mill had suggested that the iPhone 5 would come with NFC (Near Field Communications) tech for mobile payments, but the rumor ended up getting squashed in the weeks leading up to today’s event.

So why no NFC in the iPhone 5? According to Apple VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller, Passbook in iOS 6 is enough for what Apple wants to accomplish in the virtual wallet space right now. In a brief interview today, Schiller talked about NFC, and why Apple decided on the new Lightning dock connector.

AllThingsD reports:

In an interview, Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller said that Passbook alone does what most customers want and works without existing merchant payment systems.

It’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem, Schiller said. “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today.”

Schiller’s comments mirror a recent report from The Wall Street Journal that said Apple is talking a “go-slow approach” to mobile payments.

On the new Lightning dock:

Schiller said it simply wasn’t possible to build products as thin as the new iPhones and iPods without changing the cord. Hence, the new “Lightning” connector.

That said, Schiller said that Apple doesn’t take changing the connector lightly.

“This is the new connector for many years to come,” he said.

Some thought that Apple may implement wirelessing charging in an attempt to phase out physical cables altogether. Schiller said today that wireless charging is “for most situations, more complicated.”

Apple’s 8-pin Lightning dock is completely digital and can be used in either orientation. The main headache for customers is that existing accessories and peripherals will have to use a $30 adapter to work with the Lightning dock in the iPhone 5.

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  • Xyrax1

    So in other words, one year from today when they finally catch up to the rest of the mobile market “NOW it’s ready, and we are here to introduce you all to the new innovative technology called NFC! Using this technology you can buy things with your iPhone 5S without the need to pull out your credit card! Its the best new iPhone yet!”

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    So in other words, one year from today when they finally catch up to the rest of the mobile market “NOW it’s ready, and we are here to introduce you all to the new innovative technology called NFC! Using this technology you can buy things with your iPhone 5S without the need to pull out your credit card! Its the best new iPhone yet!”

    Except for the fact that you can already use passbook to pay for things. In apple stores I can scan a product and pay for it directly from my phone with one click. All it takes is wifi, which is more cost effective than NFC terminals from what I hear.

  • Timothy Williamson

    Wifi or a laserscannermatron. :-D

  • Len Williams

    The new Lightning connector is small and allows the newest iPhone to be thinner, but does it have the same strength as the old connector? When the Lightning connector migrates to the iPad, will it be strong enough to hold the iPad up without breaking off? I’m sure the Apple engineers have researched this, but it looks very light and flimsy in comparison to the old connector. I’ll have to check this out on the 21st at the Tampa Apple Store to see how it actually works. Physics-wise, the smaller the connector, the greater the stress per square inch.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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