Apple and NFC

If you purchase a song from iTunes, you decide to give it to your friend as a gift, Apple will provide a method to deliver the gift using Near Field Communication (NFC)!

Surprised? Apple doesn’t offer NFC, at least not yet.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent application on August 15th.  The patent was titled “Media gifting devices and methods,” It specified how iOS device users purchase and consume digital content with the NFC transaction. See details here.

On September 6th, Apple filed for a European patent about devices with fingerprint scanner and NFC. See details posted by Patently Apple. The European patent application is derived from a U.S. patent application filed in September 5th and titled “Electronic Device with Shared near Field Communications and Sensor Structures”. It described a dual mode operation as follows “When operated in a sensor mode, the sensor circuitry may use the conductive structure to gather a fingerprint or other sensor data. When operated in near field communications mode, the near field communications circuitry can use the conductive structure to transmit and receive capacitively coupled or inductively coupled near field communications signals.” (see picture attached)

This is not the first time that Apple has filed for a patent based on NFC technology. What does this tell you about Apple and NFC? I expect that NFC will continue to expand with or without Apple’s participation. And Apple’s participation is very likely to surprise everyone.