EU Approves Apple NFC Technology Access for Competitors

What you should know

  • Apple is making its ecosystem more open in the EU, allowing third-party app stores and access to the iPhone’s NFC chip for contactless payments.
  • The EU Commission is expected to approve Apple’s changes to NFC chip access, promoting competition in the contactless payments market.
  • Apple’s policy adjustment comes after the European Commission accused it of stifling competition by restricting access to its NFC technology.
  • Despite opening up NFC access, Apple will require third-party app developers to request entitlement and adhere to industry standards to use the technology.

Full Story

Oh, Apple’s at it again, slowly but surely opening its doors. It’s kinda like they’re finally letting the neighbors in, at least in the European Union. Just last week, they threw a curveball and let a third-party app store set up shop.

Now, it seems they’re about to take another leap. Word on the street (okay, Reuters) is that the EU Commission is giving Apple the thumbs up to tweak the iPhone’s NFC chip access. This is big news because it’s all about boosting competition in the no-touch payment game. They’re expected to spill the beans officially in a few weeks.

What’s this mean for us, the everyday iPhone users? Well, soon, we might see a new face pop up when we double-click the side button for payments. Instead of Apple Pay being the only game in town, other apps could take center stage. Apple’s NFC, or near-field communication, is what makes this tap-and-go magic possible.

For the longest time, Apple’s been super clingy with its NFC chip, all in the name of user experience, privacy, and security. This meant Apple Pay had no real rivals on the iPhone. But not everyone was happy about this monopoly.

In fact, a couple of years back, the European Commission called Apple out. They accused the tech giant of playing gatekeeper too strictly with its Apple Pay, shutting out any potential competition. Apple, wanting to dodge a hefty fine and a slap on the wrist, decided to change its tune.

Speaking of fines, Apple’s wallet probably felt a bit lighter last month. They had to cough up a whopping €1.84 billion—that’s about $2 billion if you’re doing the math. This was their first EU antitrust penalty, all because they made it tough for Spotify and others to compete on the App Store.

But don’t think it’s going to be a wild west of payment apps on your iPhone. Nope, there’s a catch. App developers have to get a special nod from Apple to get in on this action. They’ve got to stick to the rules, follow industry standards, and have the right licenses to handle your cash.

So, yeah, things are changing. But it’s not just a free-for-all. It’s Apple, after all. They’ve got a reputation to maintain.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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