• Michael Weeding

Will Apple Adopt Bluetooth 4.0 over NFC?

During the week speculators have once again suggested that the adoption by Apple of Bluetooth 4.0 in core products could indicate a move away from NFC altogether and Apple’s iWallet will use Bluetooth 4.0 instead of Near Field Communication (NFC).

They key features of Bluetooth 4.0 over other Bluetooth solutions include:

  • Bluetooth v4.0 is 50 times faster which would allow transactions to occur in four milliseconds, which will be important to address the security concerns of mobile commerce.

  • A core feature of Bluetooth 4.0 is its “Bluetooth Low Energy” (BLE) technology, a standard that consumes less power to maintain a connection.

There is definitely an argument to support the fact that Low Energy Bluetooth could be a promising competitor to NFC as there is a lot of things in mobile commerce that have to get resolved for NFC to be the open-standard, including its vulnerable to security issues.

The most documented argument against the Bluetooth 4.0 replacing NFC is that POS terminal providers are already selling NFC contactless terminals that do not support Bluetooth 4.0 and that the case of NFC being dumped for Bluetooth 4.0 looks less likely.

Despite all the debate the general consensus amongst many speculators is that future iOS and other Apple devices will come with support for both technologies and exciting new solutions will be developed to support both technologies. Why does there need to be one winner in this so called mobile payment race?


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