iPhone 4 to get NFC case and payment service in South Korea

first_imgWhether the iPhone 5 has an NFC chip embedded or not isn’t really a concern if you live in South Korea. That’s because regardless of Apple’s decision to include one, existing iPhone 4 owners can purchase a case that adds the necessary hardware.South Korean network operator KT Corp. is the company behind the new case which includes the necessary electronics to allow the iPhone 4 to use NFC. It is also supporting such functionality with the launch of a new payment service that takes advantage of the tap-to-pay method and turns the iPhone 4 into a wallet.We’re assuming an equivalent iPhone 5 case will follow too, as soon as KT Corp. know the smartphone’s final dimensions and get Apple’s approval. That’s as long as the iPhone 5 doesn’t have an NFC chip inside as standard, which isn’t thought to be the case. In fact, the iPhone 5 might use Bluetooth 4.0 as an alternative.The iPhone 4 case was created by Wireless Dynamics Inc. and has apparently already received approval from Apple. When the case becomes available, KT should already have subway payment systems in place and a number of credit cards that support the service.Read more at The Korea Herald, via 9to5MacMatthew’s OpinionWhat’s interesting about this is it requires Apple’s approval because software will be required to allow the payments system to work. KT could sell the case without approval, but that’s not enough, so this is an officially approved service.Apple has said in the past that NFC hardware isn’t at a point where it makes sense for inclusion in the iPhone. In other words, the necessary components aren’t small enough to fit in the space allowed by the iPhone design. So is this the alternative? Apple is happy to support NFC for the customers that want it, but you’re going to have to slide your iPhone into a compatible case to get it.With NFC still in its infancy that tactic could work for one more generation of iPhone. By this time next year the components will have shrunk and iPhone 6 will have to include it unless over the next 12 months NFC bombs as a piece of tech or a service.last_img read more