No NFC on the new iPhone and why it doesn’t matter. C-ITV Weekly News Feed CW38

By Steve Atkins

Hands up if you were waiting for Apple to announce NFC on the iPhone 5 last week. Really? Despite all the hype to the contrary, if was pretty much evident that there was never going to be NFC technology included in the iPhone. Especially after the one engineer got his hands on a prototype, took it apart and announced that he could find no NFC on board (http://bit.ly/QBvV7D), days before the official unveiling. It was not unexpected that some reviewers in the press would speak how Apple was ‘missing the boat’ (or is it train? I forget), when it comes to mobile payments thanks to the company being unwilling to embrace NFC technology ( http://bit.ly/OrOavR).

My view is that, quite honestly, it matters not one jot that the iPhone 5 will not carry NFC technology. Not one iota. Why? Simple behavioural physiology – specifically, how customers respond to new products. Something that Apple is very good at, thanks to their retail store experiences. Here’s a very good example, brought to light by Forbes contributor Carmine Gallo. Apple ensures every model of its  MacBook Pro with Retina display laptops are positioned at the exact same 70-degree angle in its Retail Stores in order to encourage visitor interaction laptops. “The main reason notebook computer screens are slightly angles is to encourage customers to adjust the screen to their ideal viewing angle,” explains Gallo. “In other words, to touch the computer! It’s also why all computers and iPads in the Apple Store are loaded with apps and software and connected to the internet.” Gallo also explains that Apple seeks to create an ‘ownership experience’ for customers, building brand loyalty. “The more you engage your customers’ sense, the more likely it is that they will engage with your product on an emotional level and reward you with their loyalty.”

With Passbook due to be released on the iOS6, this is the chance for iPhone users to experience something more from their iPhone 4, 4S, 5, whichever. Something that goes beyond the call, camera, surf usability of most smartphone user experiences. This is using the iPhone for specific wallet-type interaction. Something that needs to happen to whole groups of the consumer population. Once people are comfortable with using their phones regularly for ticketing, loyalty-type applications (from both sides of the interaction experience), how long before people are comfortable with using their phones for payment, or retailers accepting payment from phones as the norm? NFC technology is merely a data transportation solution (http://rww.to/QopJMj) – the best mobile payment standard we have at the moment – but they’re certainly not alone (http://reut.rs/QonpEV). Somewhere along the line the industry convinced themselves that we needed to convince customers of the benefits of NFC (http://bit.ly/QBuTsu) when we should have approached customers from a behavioural point of view. We should learn from Apple and get customers to embrace their mobile wallet ‘ownership experience’. Because, to be honest, I don’t think Apple are going to let the mobile wallet market pass them by (http://bit.ly/Qon3hz).

I don’t think Isis want the mobile wallet market to pass them by either but come on, get it released already! They are only launching in two areas; Salt Lake City, Utah, and Austin, Texas. However, for undisclosed reasons the trial will now be rescheduled until at least October (http://reut.rs/QKuSQN). The joint venture, which was formed in late 2010 by mobile MNOs AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA, had originally set the launch date for the trial as vague as “this summer,” but then confirmed it to be “September”(http://bit.ly/P8wJ1Y) which was already a slippage from “early 2012″. Everyone involved is quick to assure observers and analysts that they are still heavily committed (http://bit.ly/QKuqlq) but until we actually see something begin – how long will those sentiments ring true?

Google Wallet also got a bit of a boost last week with the announcement that Barclaycard US is to support Google wallet. Barclaycard US will get the ball rolling with support for its L.L. Bean and US Airways co-branded card customers and has said it will add support for its other card portfolios at a later date. Good news for the Google Wallet as they work for greater customer adoption of their mobile wallet solution as it should become able to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

And finally, Contactless Intelligence is announcing its preliminary conference agenda for the Spring Conference 2013. This year’s approach calls for ‘Bringing Brands On Board’ and details can be found in the right hand column, or on the Contactless Intelligence site (http://bit.ly/QNZIIm). Any questions, please contact Karen Brindley at karen(dot)brindley(at)krowne.de

This week on C-ITV

Payments & m-Commerce

NFC & Mobile

Transportation, Ticketing, Access, Security & Loyalty

Other News & Opinion Articles

 

 

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: CI Spring Conference, Contactless & Mobile Awards, Contactless Payments, Contactless Technology

Author:Steve Atkins

Steve Atkins is the main contributor and Editor in Chief of Contactless Intelligence – covering contactless, NFC, mobile and cloud-based technologies. Even with almost twenty five years of experience in the high tech industry, he is still fascinated with all kinds of technology and the impact it has upon end users. He is currently based in Berlin, Germany.

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