Apple Passbook to pave the way for NFC?
Apple Passbook is part of the upcoming release of iOS, Apple’s operating system for smartphones and tablets that will be available later this year. For the time being, hardware supporting iOS6 has not yet been announced, which means analysts are left to conjectures as to whether NFC is to be integrated in it or not.
Passbook is designed to work with both current and future Apple devices and to be as technology agnostic as possible — opening up the potential for developers to begin building Passbook-enabled apps now that will work with both today's iPhones and a possible future NFC-enabled iPhone. Passbook will work straight away with a range of different types of barcodes, such as applications from Starbucks, Target, United Airlines, Amtrak and movie theatre ticket seller Fandango as well as the Apple Store. The current balance on stored value cards, such as those issued by Starbucks, is available to view from within the Passbook app and the mobile wallet will also include support for coupons and hotel express check-in cards. Passbook-enabled apps are also integrated in with both the phone itself and the lock screen, allowing Passbook to make use of the phone's geolocation capabilities to automatically bring up a relevant card or ticket when it is needed.