Apple: iPhone 6 NFC Just for Apple Pay

The NFC chip in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be used only for Apple Pay, making it hands-off for third party developers. That means other uses, like proximity-based device pairing, is off the table for now.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus NFC chip is only for mobile paymentsThe iPhone 6 and 6 Plus NFC chip is only for mobile payments

Apple introduced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last week during a media event where features such as Apple Pay were shown off. Apple Pay is a mobile payment system that lets shoppers use their iPhone to handle credit card transactions instead of relying on the familiar plastic cards commonly used now.

Apple Pay works by linking supported credit cards to your iPhone. When you hold your iPhone close to an NFC-enabled credit card reader, your transaction completes, just as if you swiped your actual credit card. Apple Pay relies on Touch ID to keep anyone else from using your card should your iPhone be lost or stolen.

Limiting access to the NFC chip may be disappointing, but it isn't surprising. When Apple introduced the Touch ID sensor with the iPhone 5s, it was available only for Apple's own services such as unlocking the device or authorizing iTunes Store purchases.

With the pending release of iOS 8, however, Touch ID will be open to third-party developers. Apple may have similar plans in store for the iPhone 6's NFC chip.

Apple launched pre-order sales for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last Friday and quickly sold through over 4 million units. The new versions of Apple's smartphone will be in stores this Friday, September 19, but Apple Pay won't be available until October.

[Thanks to The Verge for the heads up]