Previous Blog – Apple and NFC
Well, I was right last year… a lone voice in the wind with BGR. Let’s see if I can repeat.
Prediction: Apple iPhone 5s/6 will have NFC.
Hardware? My bet is Broadcom’s BCM43341 or BCM20793 chip
Broadcom has launched the industry’s first quad-combo chip. The BCM43341 combines NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM radio on one chip and, says Broadcom, “offers OEMs unmatched size, power and cost advantages.”
A second new product is a single card solution that pairs a BCM20793 NFC controller as used in the Google Nexus 4 with an 802.11ac (5G) WiFi radio and is aimed at high end mobile phones and devices.
Broadcom’s BCM4334 combo chip (dual-band 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0+HS & FM receiver) is already in the iPhone 5, and other versions in iPad yet other possibly extending into Mac success as well. What I find most interesting is the BC 2079x family of “stand alone” controllers. Broadcom has also contributed its NFC software stack to the Android Open Source Project. A generic controller with software stack which manages both secure storage and multiple radios in multiple frequencies. This is NOT the NFC which MNOs and Bank’s envisioned (see SWP).
HOW WILL APPLE LEVERAGE NFC?
This is the billion dollar question.
My guess is that Apple will focus on creating a new security and authentication infrastructure on the phone, and in the cloud. This infrastructure has both software and hardware components, and will change the way other “apps” interact with customer data, customer sensitive information (ie location) and the OUTSIDE WORLD. For example, today apps that require location must adhere to policies consistent with “location services“. Think about extending this type of control over your credit card information, name, address, e-mail.. what apps get access to which data? Now also think about this new service which can identify you are who you say you are (identification) which will be present with AuthenTec capabilities
Apples new lightening connector extends the iPhone security “platform” from the phone to external devices via proprietary cables which must contain embedded Authentication chips . I bet the folks at RIM just fainted reading this.. RIM built the most secure mobile platform in the world, with secure integrated corporate e-mail.. no developer community, “average” user experience.. and a completely STUNTED internet browser. Apple is going after security last.. after they have everyone hooked on the platform. Apple is completely brilliant, it took a “good enough” approach to security to build user base.. now it is adding services and security. .
All of this is completely consistent with what we see in Patents, acquisitions, evolution, phone architecture, … and Apple brilliantly evolving the company into orchestration as I outlined in blog on Stage 4 Value shift.
Could the new iPhone run Visa Paywave? sure.. however it may need an add on antenna.. as the design of NFC within the iPhone was not built to around supporting someone else’s project (Visa/Banks).
This is the paradigm which must be broken. Don’t think of NFC in terms of payment, it is just another radio.. actually it has 3 parts.. the radio, controller, and secure storage.. each of which can take on very different roles in a new Apple architecture. Why transfer data view NFC/ISO 14443 @ 424kb/s when Bluetooth V2.1 is 2.1 Mbit/s and Bluetooth V4/V3 is 24Mbit/s… (60x faster).
I predict all of the phone platforms will spend whatever is necessary to retain ownership of customer and customer information. All commerce and financial services are dependent on consumer Authentication… it is the lynch pin for retaining the “hub” role in value orchestration and future margin..
Handset manufactures (Apple, Google, Samsung, …) are flipping the NFC value equation. From a SIM based SWP approach to an multi functional embedded approach with integrated consumer authentication. I’m amazed that there is not more press here. The implications are tremendous.
See previous blog KYC – $5B opportunity (I may have guessed low).