You may be delighted that the iPhone 6 has NFC but if you're looking forward to pairing it with speakers and other NFC-related tasks then think again because the NFC chip inside the new iPhone 6 smartphones is restricted to ApplePay only. See: Where to buy iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the UK. See also: iPhone 6 review.
It was rumoured for a while and like pretty much every other bit of leaked information, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both come with NFC. It's the first time for Apple's smartphone but you won't be able to go tapping away with any NFC-enabled product.
Normally, if a product has NFC it can be used for all kinds of things: easy pairing with countless devices like speakers, NFC tags for quick launching apps, sharing files easily and similar. However, you won't be able to do any of this with the iPhone 6 as Apple has restricted the NFC chip to work only with ApplePay, its new contactless payment system.
"At the moment, there isn't any open access to the NFC controller. There are currently no NFC APIs in the iOS 8 GM SDK - which would indicate that the NFC capability will be restricted to Apple Pay at launch," states RapidNFC, an NFC tag provider.
The NFC hardware from NXP indicates that the iPhone 6 is capable of these additional tasks but the documentation for iOS 8 confirms that there's no access for developers to use the feature to make the experience of using the device better. It's bad news for users and manufacturers of NFC-enabled accessories. Read: The best iPhone 6 alternatives.
iPhone 6 NFC access might come with Apple Watch release
However, the fact that access is currently prohibited doesn't mean that it never will. Apple also announced the Apple Watch alongside the two iPhone 6 models which also has NFC inside. The firm gave an example of using the device to enter a hotel room using the chip.
So the Apple Watch will have developer access to some extent, even if it is only to partners of Apple's choosing. The smartwatch is due to launch early next year and this is when Apple might open up access to the NFC feature of the iPhone 6.
"This is a classic use case [the hotel example] for NFC and gives some indication that the NFC controller will be open to developers at some point. Remember, the watch is not supposed to be released until Q1 2015. So for now I'd say it's closed but will be open soon. Given the 'newness' of contactless payments for the general US consumer and the recent security breaches it's not surprising Apple wants to keep this closed for a while," says Craig Tadlock, CEO and founder of GoToTags.
We're waiting for a comment from Apple.