January 26, 2011, 2:09 PM — Interesting how things work out; just a day after I posted my impressions of the Starbucks Mobile App and wrote that it had sold me on 2D-barcodes as a better bet than NFC, Bloomberg came out with an article claiming that Apple is going to be pushing NFC in its next-generation iPhones and iPads. Was I too hasty? Is NFC now the wave of the future?
As I did with the earlier Bloomberg report about the AT&T/Verizon Wireless joint venture that turned out to be Isis, I am cautioning my clients not to read too much into this. Apple faces huge obstacles in making this work. Yes, Apple is rumored to have over 150 million payment accounts enrolled in iTunes. Yes, Apple has a history of driving the market in mobile technology. Yes, combined with the statements from Google and Isis, it now appears that all the major smartphone brands will support NFC by the end of this year. However, there are a lot of problems that are simply not addressed in the article: