It’s not (only) about the Hardware. Why Apple waited so long for NFC.

Yesterday Apple announced their new, long awaited, expected and desired, device: the Apple Watch (replacing the “i” by an apple, might be a new naming line?) with the new , in both sizes. Really nothing new, or very few, based on the information leaked in the previous months. Maybe the Digital Crown was unexpected. You like it or not, we’ll see sales evolution when it comes to market, much later than other equivalent devices such as the Motorola 360 or the LG G Watch.

From the Apple watch just one remark, it will only work with the iphone 5 and above, which is a limitation but quite normal knowing how closed the Apple ecosystem is. And this ecosystem will be open to app developers that will take the device much beyond the initial usages. The watch is fully packed with all kind of sensors, great for many many cool options from sports to sleeping improvement.

The feature everybody was expecting and finally came, both in the Apple Watch and the iPhone 6 is NFC. Since it has been a standard within Android devices since a couple of years now, Apple seemed to be reluctant to implement this short range communication technology, to the point, seeing how Bluetooth LE and the iBeacon technology has evolved this year, to wonder if they were going to adopt it ever.

The truth is, as they did with the MP3 and the iPod, with the Phone and the iPhone, Apple waited to launch some hardware piece, even apparently mature, until the software ecosystem was ready. And they did it again.

Not only they are including NFC, they are including Apple Pay, a big big competition to PayPal and Amazon Payments, thanks toan agreement with the three major credit card issuers. And that’s where the next big thing is. Banks and credit card companies have invested millions deploying both cards and PoS terminals working with contactless (NFC) technology, and in that arena Apple needed to play a role. Now they’re there, but with their own rules, as always.


This article has originally been posted here.