CES Shows Downside Of iPhone Lack Of NFC
January 11, 2013

CES 2013 Shows How iPhone Owners Missing Out On NFC

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Apple can be a bit stubborn sometimes, and one thing a trip around the 2013 International CES floor can do is make you realize how much iPhone users are missing out on.

NFC is a technology that has been around for a while, but is starting to be implemented in a very cool way. Various products at CES showed off how they were able to utilize the NFC technology in their devices.

On Press Day, Samsung's press kits were given to media members in the form of a bracelet with an NFC chip, which looked a little like a slap in the face the first day. Samsung and Apple have been embroiled in court battles for the past few years, brewing up a huge rivalry between each other, and handing out NFC press kits to a large group of press, instead of the typical USB drive, had a bit of an unsaid overtone to it.

However, after a few more days spent walking around the CES floors, it hit me that Samsung wasn't trying to rub the lack of NFC into iPhone users' faces, but was more trying to allow their smartphone users a chance to utilize a great technology at the most technologically advanced event in history.

NFC seemed to play a common theme among many of the products seen on the exhibition floors, whether it was music players or ways for advertisers to send coupons to customers.

In particular, TYLT showed off a new technology that was a simple NFC sticker one could place somewhere in their home. Essentially, all a user would need to do is bump the NFC sticker, say by the door, and it would play music when they walked in.

There are endless possibilities for what NFC technology could be used for, but, sadly, I will not be able to utilize any of these as an iPhone user until at least 2014, when my contract expires. Apple touts their iPhones as the best smartphone in the world, but it seems like these devices are lacking a feature that would make them great.

It's a harsh reality to face, that as an Apple user, you do have what most critics consider to be a superior technology in terms of its reliability, consistency, and fluidity to interact with your computer and other iCloud devices. However, it's Apple's stubbornness to follow a pattern of proprietary technologies that makes its users unable to embrace newer, widely accepted forms of it.

Sure, this same stubbornness makes the company great, and keeps third-party malware from showing up on your Mac. But it's the same stubbornness that made it tough for the company to compete in the 90's when software developers didn't want to deal with it.

NFC will most likely be something that is as common as a cash register one day, and with technologies like TYLT selling those stickers for just $19.99, it´s a technology that is rather cheap to implement.

History seems to always be the best indicator of what will play out in the future, and if that is the case, then Apple could very well be creating its own version of NFC technology. Something that may very well be far superior, but harder to implement and more expensive. Or, the company could just be fixing some known security issues with NFC, as fellow redOrbit writer Michael Harper pointed out. However, regardless of the "what if" game, one thing is for certain, NFC technology is most definitely here, and iPhone owners have no way to take advantage of it, for now.