WSJ: NFC-enabled iWatch has ‘a role in mobile payments’, features curved OLED screen

By , Sep 4, 2014

iWatch and iPhone 6 mockup (Martin Hajek 001)

Adding up to the ongoing conversation about Apple’s purported wearable project dubbed by the media the ‘iWatch’, The Wall Street Journal affirmed Thursday that the fashionable gizmo will connect to the upcoming iPhone 6 via NFC and come in two sizes to appeal to both gender’s preferences.

NFC stands for Near-Field Communication, which is a short-range wireless technology required for the handset’s rumored mobile payment functionality.

In their write-up behind the paywall, reporters Lorrraine Luk, Daisuke Wakabayashi and Greg Bensinger quote people familiar with the matter as saying that both iWatch sizes feature a curved organic light-emitting diode screen, or OLED.

There will be sensors to track and monitor health and fitness data, as expected. According to the Journal, Apple’s use of NFC technology on the iWatch signals that it “sees a role for the device in digital payments”.

The article states that the iWatch will also tap NFC to “simplify the process of connecting, or pairing”.

On the other hand, pairing can also be achieved over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct, which is exactly how Apple’s peer-to-peer networking technology called AirDrop establishes a secure connection between iOS devices to share items.

iWatch and iPhone 6 mockup (Martin Hajek 002)

Of course, it’s entirely plausible that the iWatch needs NFC in order to make the contactless payment experience at the cash register ridiculously simple.

I’m purely speculating here, but the NFC circuitry inside the iWatch could give users the ability to make mobile payments directly on the wearable device, without ever pulling an iPhone 6 out of their pocket.

Speaking of which, the WSJ story corroborates earlier reports that called for the use of NFC on the iPhone 6 for the mobile payment functionality. Apple is expected to mainstream mobile payments by tapping a pool of more than 800 million iTunes accounts with credit cards enabled for 1-click shopping.

If you ask KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo, the iWatch is debuting next year in two sizes, featuring eight gigabytes of internal storage and a processor with 512MB of memory.

The device was previously rumored to be releasing this November. The Journal story corroborates Kuo’s early-2015 iWatch release prediction.

“People familiar with Apple’s plans said it is unlikely that Apple will release the smartwatch this year”, reads the write-up, adding that engineers are currently “working out engineering kinks in production.”

Another source close to Apple’s suppliers said there is “no way” that Apple will be able to ship the iWatch this year. And in wrapping up its story, WSJ concludes that Apple is actually planning to take preorders for the iWatch “before it officially goes on sale”.

Mockups courtesy of 3D artist Martin Hajek.

[The Wall Street Journal]

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  • Jason Baroni

    It’s about time. And payments.

  • Markus Hudobnik

    I’m still debating on if I should buy the so called iWatch.

    • Jason Baroni

      Wait for what they’ve got to show us.

      • Gary LE

        Price is more important than features? If it is cheap <$300 then I might get it but it has to have lots of features and ONLY if it can be used INDEPENDENTLY without the need for an iphone.

  • Rowan09

    I love watches so I can’t wait to see what this will offer.

  • Frozen Bee .GFKS

    wierd that there are no leaks of iWatch parts/look so far

    • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

      It’s a new category, so, possibly hidden at a different manufacturer plant.

  • Judge

    I am a pebble watch wearer but I am VERY curious about this watch and what is has to offer. What will the price point be? Battery Life?

    It is amazing that all these leaks come when the stock price tanks???? Hmm what a coincidence

  • Andres

    It’s a tiny screen for the iWatch. Go big or go home