... But there's plenty of fruit left in the basket.


For those of us who backed NFC since it was just a vague glint in a developer’s eye, and know that it will become the standard contact-less interface between our physical and our digital lives, Apple’s failure to commit once again at WWDC 2013, was not an overly unexpected disappointment.

NFC certainly won’t be in iPhone 5s, and although not absolutely dismissed, probably not in iPhone 6 either. With both due for belated release in September this year it would take a major change of heart for iPhone 6 to come out fully loaded.

The recent patent taken out by Apple suggest they maybe backing iWallet as their preferred choice for mobile payments; creating yet another issue on which they will try and force the market to accept standardisation on Apple’s terms.

The anti-NFC lobby out there seem to be blinkered to just how powerful this technology really is. Could Apple really just be playing the sulky ‘not invented here’ card?

Back at the digital beginning of time, IBM wouldn’t even discuss anyone else’s kit being attached to the outside of their computers, let alone inside. That strategy nearly cost IBM a big chunk of market when customers voted with their feet to get access to much cheaper peripherals that worked just as well. In the case of HP and Amstrad as was, many of those customers ended up buying the computers to go with them too.

Apple should perhaps be minded to ask their audience what they want, rather than trying to dictate. NFC applications, such as the Oyster Card on London’s transport system, are incredibly popular with the public, and give the additional benefit of speeding up the Capital’s traffic for everyone.

Multiply that by the potential to reduce every other queue based payment system and the market might just start to weight up Apple’s charisma against its anti-cooperation arrogance. The market may just not want to wait for another new for the sake of being Apple new product, and say they want the one that’s already working well elsewhere.

Apple are far from being stupid and against the background pace of NFC and NFC like utility, together with the ground Apple has lost recently to rivals, it seems highly unlikely that IOS7 isn’t capable of supporting NFC if Apple would just flick that particular switch. If I were Craig Federighi, I would have built in the option to go with NFC when I wrote the spec for IOS7.

The history of business is littered with the corpses of businesses and leaders who thought they were bigger than the market. When companies get to the top, even truly great ones like Apple, corporate arrogance and complacency towards markets seems to descend upon them like a kind of commercial dementia.

How much better if we all remembered that customers like choice and they’re quite capable of making up their own minds.

Mr Federighi, don’t become famous for making the wrong decision, put NFC in iPhone 6 and let the technology and the market speak for themselves.