back to article Why Apple had to craft a pocket-busting 5.5in Plus-sized iPhone 6 (thank LG, Samsung etc)

Apple's two-hour parade, topped off by a performance by ludicrous boy band U2, on Tuesday was a long-winded way of shoring up its size problem. The size of its iPhone touchscreens, specifically. The Cupertino giant opened its presentation by unveiling a pair of iOS 8 smartphones that boast larger screens: the 4.7in iPhone 6 …

Holmes

It's all about the screen size

No one but the most rabid fanbois are buying a $350+++ watch that looks like an iPod Nano with limited capability - especially outside the Christmas season, and the watch won't be available for Christmas.

And pay-bonk is already a crowded field. Doesn't matter how many customers Apple has - Visa and Mastercard have far more customers, and they've had a horrible time getting retailers to switch to pay-bonk.

This is all about screen size, and trying desperately not to lose more market share to the Android sellers. It's a good move - I was thinking if they continued on the same path as the iPhone 5s, they would end up being the next Blackberry or Nokia - a once dominant phone maker reduced to rubble.

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Re: It's all about the screen size

Actually, I welcome the Apple move into payments, by keeping the transaction between you and your card issuer. With Google's wallet, if I make a purchase it goes through Google. Therefore I don't get the 5% cashback my card issuer will give me for shopping in a grocery store/petrol station/chemist etc.

If I was still receiving my cashback, I'd use my phone for any transaction I could, since it's easier to pull out my pocket then getting my wallet, opening it and pulling out the correct card.

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Re: It's all about the screen size

Unlike Google, Apple isn't attempting to displace Visa or Mastercard. Apple's system works analogously to something like OAuth: your existing Visa or Mastercard account vends a token that is stored in the phone. That token is communicated to the shop. The shop charges your Visa or Mastercard, via your normal bank.

I think Apple's probably going to be able to drag quite a few shops along through its marketing muscle. It'll be of the same benefit to the rest of us as its previous efforts in bringing unmetered billing via AT&T.

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Re: It's all about the screen size

"No one but the most rabid fanbois are buying a $350+++ watch that looks like an iPod Nano with limited capability"

- I remember you having the same attitude to the iPad.

"Doesn't matter how many customers Apple has - Visa and Mastercard have far more customers, and they've had a horrible time getting retailers to switch to pay-bonk."

-Visa and MasterCard are jumping at what Apple are offering because Apple aren't vying to get a cut, they are using it instead as a feature advantage to sell more phones.

"This is all about screen size, and trying desperately not to lose more market share to the Android sellers."

- So desperate they have seen off Samsung from the high-end, the only sector of the market where you can make real money, to the extent that Samsung now have falling profits and market share. Apple's share of the high-end of the market continues to grow. What that means is they have users who actually pay for things, so for example developers still earn on average twice from the AppStore for their apps as they will earn from the Google play store across all of the Google Android base. And it's true that as smart phones with touch screens have become embedded in our daily life, the user has been prepared for and in larger numbers wanted something bigger. Though don't forget, average out sales over a device's lifetime and you find the iPhone has always outsold equivalent Samsung's Galaxy range by a factor of between 6:4 and 2:1 with the 5s - also a smaller screened phone - doing even better against Samsung than either the 5 or 4s.

"I was thinking if they continued on the same path as the iPhone 5s, they would end up being the next Blackberry or Nokia - a once dominant phone maker reduced to rubble."

- Are you referring to the path that has lead them to be the most valuable company in the world, ahead of Enron ? That path ?

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Re: It's all about the screen size

Screen size - feels a bit like catch-up to me. Jobs was unmoving on what he determined optimal screen sizes to be. So a range including a 6" phone and a 7.9" tablet does show a bit of catch-up hopefulness in a market that's maturing.

>>7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad. ….7-Inch tablets are dead on arrival. While one could increase the resolution to make up some of the difference, it is meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one-quarter of their present size. Apple has done expensive user testing on touch interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff.<<

That watch looks seriously "me too" as well. Apple used to differentiate themselves in the market by the perception of breaking new ground (and they have certainly encouraged some good competition and stimulated the market), but this seems very catchy-uppy. Maybe their new phone will do something cool and shake up the market again, but recently all the innovation has been coming from Asia.

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Re: It's all about the screen size

That's a quote out if context. Not that Steve Jobs said anything else on that, the context being the market had no reply to the iPad for a good two years. Steve Jobs was right. All the 7 inch alternatives (play book HP's touch pad) crashed and burned. The thing that changed, was, due in large part to the influence of the iPhone and the iPad in, mobile devices became so embedded in our lives, we have become so addicted to their presence, we have become akin to drug addicts speaking a shot however we can get it. 7" tablets are a point of tension between two contrary desires. The desire for an effective interface to a virtual online world and the desire (which didn't exist to anything like the extent it does now when Jobs gave that quote) to have it with us the maximum amount of time possible. So 7" tablets are actually evidence of the complete success of Jobs approach to mobile computing and the extent we are prepared to compromise to get it. We are prepared to go as far as possible whilst retaining mobility. Jobs view of the size requirement for the iPad was a snapshot of how at the time we wouldn't have considered using an iPad much outside of a couch setting. It could be carried around but was not thought of as something that would mostly be used on the move. And the iPad was clearly a roaring success. What has happened is users have become addicted enough they want iPad functionality but whilst actually on the move. They aren't prepared to have to wait until they reach the couch or chair setting before they get their next shot.

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Re: It's all about the screen size

"since it's easier to pull out my pocket then getting my wallet"

Take phone out of pocket and touch on reader.

Take wallet out of pocket and touch it on reader.

I don't see any difference!

The only difference is it means Apple know exactly what you have been buying whereas before only your bank knew. (Plus all the people that hack Apple accounts will know exactly what you have buying!)

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Re: It's all about the screen size

"The only difference is it means Apple know exactly what you have been buying whereas before only your bank knew."

Bit of an assumption there Duke. Actually Apple are making a feature of their payment tech that they know nothing about the transaction. That was a key point made by Tim Cook yesterday. They have targeted privacy as a key axis on which to compete with Google in full knowledge Google can't match them and continue to make money. They also keep your name and contact details away from the merchant also. Which is a step more private than today's credit cards and a hell of a lot more private than Google wallet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's all about the screen size

"Take phone out of pocket and touch on reader.

Take wallet out of pocket and touch it on reader.

I don't see any difference!"

My wallet contains both a credit and debit card, both of which support pay-by-bonk.

It is necessary to remove the specific card from the wallet unless I want to toss a coin as to which account the transaction is charged.

Lots of people have more than one card, or keep a separate credit card to divide work expenses from personal spending. Rather than adding up your receipts and doing a whole expenses return, just staple them all to the credit card statement and circle the bottom line. Just swiping your wallet only works if you only have one NFC card.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's all about the screen size

"all the innovation has been coming from Asia."

If you are incapable of seeing the Industrial Engineering innovations in each iteration of the iPhone, then you sir, are what we more gifted and astute persons call a moron.

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Re: It's all about the screen size

> Just swiping your wallet only works if you only have one NFC card.

Which I do now, arrived yesterday. Handy, hope it works through a thickish wallet - I will put the card at the front or back and hope.

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Re: It's all about the screen size @SuccessCase

Just a question, not looked into at all but you say:

"They also keep your name and contact details away from the merchant also"

How does the merchant know how to send you the goods you have ordered (in situations where you order physical goods) if they are not given your name and contact details?

Colour me confused...

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Re: It's all about the screen size

Close, but no cigar:

"Take wallet out of pocket and touch it on reader."

My wallet contains 3 credit cards, and a debit card, all of which have PaybyBonk - which one does it choose?

"The only difference is it means Apple know exactly what you have been buying "

"6:51 p.m. : Apple doesn’t know what you bought, where you bought it, or how much you paid for it."

Source: http://www.apple.com/live/2014-sept-event/

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Re: It's all about the screen size

The difference in not needing to carry the wallet at all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's all about the screen size

"Take phone out of pocket and touch on reader.

Take wallet out of pocket and touch it on reader.

I don't see any difference!"

...but that isn't how your (or my, anyway) wallet is - I have both an Amex and Visa card (both NFC enabled), along with a debit card for my personal account and one for our joint account with my other half (again, both NFC enabled) and an Oyster card (NFC).

There's no way I can hold my wallet up to any reader and have it get anything but a scrambled mess. Well, actually, my wallet is NFC shielded, so the reader wouldn't get anything, but you get my point.

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Re: It's all about the screen size

Since when was the 10" HP Touchpad a 7" device? Therefore that leaves your "crashed and burned" argument with the BB PlayBook. Fine.

Just don't mention the Hudl, Galaxy Tab 3/4 and that Nexus 7 thingy....

The market has clearly spoken despite your fandom, and given a variety of different devices. "Choice" if you will...something that Apple is now only realising it needs to deliver because they cannot dictate to every sector of the market and just expect to shift units because they are "Apple".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: of their payment tech that they know nothing about the transaction

And how exactly do you stop the person in the crowd with their handheld reader from ""accidentally" bonking your phone whilst it's in your pocket?

Then Apple say "we're not liable for your lost money"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: of their payment tech that they know nothing about the transaction

Well, unless you keep your thumb permanently on the home button, you won't have any problems.

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Re: It's all about the screen size @SuccessCase @Russell Hancock

"How does the merchant know how to send you the goods you have ordered (in situations where you order physical goods) if they are not given your name and contact details?"

You mean the goods you just put on the counter in the shop? I thought pay-by-bonk was designed for small payments (up to about £10/€15/$25-ish) for services or products in-store as an alternative to shoving your card in the slot and entering a PIN. If it's for a larger amount or something to be delivered I'd expect more security than just waving the card over the reader.

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Re: It's all about the screen size

OK, you have multiple credit and debit cards in your wallet. So you have to add the extra step of pulling out the card you want to use.

Is your iPhone going to magically know which card you want to use and automatically send the code from that card, or are you going to have to unlock the phone, start up some app, choose which card you want to use, then bonk it.

I don't see any savings in time or energy.

"I don't have to carry my wallet." - I guess we're different then, I 'carry' my wallet with me all of the time, in my pocket, because it has other important things in it, like my driver's license. I'm not one of those people who has their phone in hand 24/7 though.

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Re: It's all about the screen size @SuccessCase @Russell Hancock @Simon Harris

You are of-course correct - for some reason it was in my mind that it was e-commerce related...

but the question still stands, when i pay by card (chip and pin) or pay by bonk - what difference does that make to security? in neither circumstance do i hand over any personal details...

p.s. i have given an up vote for correcting me...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's all about the screen size

"The difference in not needing to carry the wallet at all."

Colour me cynical but I'd rather not have Apple know my location, messages, emails, photos, calendar, and purchasing. In other words where I've been, where I'm going, what I did, where I did it, what I bought, where I bought it, what I said, and my heartbeat at the time. Sheesh, they'd be able to write your biography. That is an awful lot of information being concentrated in just one company even if it is only metadata. Hate the NSA doing it but freely give it to Apple?

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Anonymous Coward

I think the Swiss are safe...

Serious people don't want a watch that looks like it came out of a plastic egg.

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Coat

Re: I think the Swiss are safe...

A plastic egg? That's a bit harsh. You could have been a bit kinder

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I think the Swiss are safe...

The coat in that icon is no where near shabby enough for that pun

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Re: Serious people don't want a watch

There's nothing says 'wanker' quite so well as a bling watch. Unless it's a bling fountain pen.

Here's a little tip to sales people: when you shoot your cuffs to show off your watch, and slap your Mont Blanc down on the table, you're sending a message that your software is overpriced

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Re: I think the Swiss are safe...

Biggest failure of the "Apple Watch" is that as far as I can see, it has no conspicuous Apple Logo anywhere on it.

It might sound facetious, but a lot of the attraction of buying an iPhone is often to show people you can afford one (I'm fully aware that this does not apply to everyone, but if you don't think iPhones are a status symbol, you're not living in a place that has a wide spread of incomes). Like those Ralph Lauren shirts with the oversized logo on them, the point is to advertise your income-bracket to people without having to engage them in conversation.

From a distance, an Apple Watch without conspicuous branding looks just like the Chinese knockoffs that are even now coming off the production lines, so why bother if everyone will assume your real one is a fake.

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Re: I think the Swiss are safe...

"-a lot of the attraction of buying an iPhone is often to show people you can afford one"

Once maybe, not any more. Every shopping centre seems to have its fair share of bottom-end joggie-clad iThing users.

The kids are a pretty good barometer of these things. Daughter and all her friends have been iAddicts for years now, but they're all migrating cos they think it's old fashioned. Eldest's 14th birthday is in a few weeks and (against better judgment) I suggested an iPhone 6 - she turned it down flat because "nobody wants iPhones any more".

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Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space

To the contrary, Apple Pay basically destroys the business model of everyone playing in the mobile payments space before today! This is great for consumers, but everyone else is busy throwing out their business plan and figuring out how to survive this.

I always figured NFC payments would be really hard to make work in the US because everyone wants to take a cut of the transaction. Everyone involved from phone OEMs, carriers, app developers and various others who figured they could insert themselves in the process - all had dreams of making billions off a small cut of the action. Those dreams are now gone.

Apple doesn't need a cut (or profit down the road via using/selling customer data) since they make their money selling phones/watches. Payment processors and banks didn't want to give anyone a cut of their action. Merchants didn't want to give a bigger cut than they give now to enable more pigs at the trough.

So the banks, payment processors, and merchants all became logical partners of Apple, and the massive support they've lined up guarantees Apple Pay will gain traction where others have failed. Anyone who wants to play the mobile payments game after today will have to play by the profit-free information-free rules Apple has now set in stone. Brilliant move by Apple, this deals Google's aspirations a crippling blow by taking away their ability to collect data on user purchases and add it to their massive trove of customer data.

Had Google been able to link purchase behavior all the way back to user searches, the value of that search data and AdWords would have grown immeasurably.

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Re: Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space

Exactly DougS.

Have the first upvote

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Re: Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space

Apple have a patchy history when it comes to working with existing technology systems, and their record on online security isn't exactly stellar either.

I also don't see what this offers above a standard NFC-enabled credit card. I know Apple's most loyal customers have a reputation of being spendthrift, but surely even they won't want to allow authorisation of large transactions with just a tap of a phone?

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Re: Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space

You really think they won't be watching what you buy?

So naive.

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Re: Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space

"We are not in the business of collecting your data. So, when you go to a physical location and use Apple Pay, Apple doesn’t know what you bought, where you bought it, or how much you paid for it."

Eddie Cue, onstage, in front if the world's media, yesterday.

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Re: Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space

@DougS

Best thought out post in this thread. Have an upvote.

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Meh

"provided the company plays well with others"

Because they have such a great history of that.

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Pirate

Re: Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space

I would propose that Apple may also have had ulterior motives (shocker!)...

In other news, did anyone else read that PayPal is now taking bitcoins?

Since PayPal can interface with banks/CC's, Apple is effectively dealing in bitcoins if you have a CC linked to a bitcoin account.

Just a thought...

P.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space

Fascinating. I guess that means they'll be turning off geolocation then?

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Re: Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space

"Fascinating. I guess that means they'll be turning off geolocation then?"

Clever, if sarcastic. Except...

1) Apple don't know when you have made a payment and don't know when you are at place x that you have made a payment.

2) They are extremely explicit that they do not track your location and if you have e.g. find my iPhone or other such services switched on, they purge all cached data and also that any data cached at their servers is encrypted and inaccessible by them in the same way as most good security systems user passwords are inaccessible by employees. This is made completely clear in the security white paper

available here: http://www.apple.com/ipad/business/docs/iOS_Security_Feb14.pdf

This security white paper has been hailed by the Security Expert, Steve Gibson as one of the best and most privacy protecting security implementations he has witnessed. They are setting themselves up in contradistinction to Google on security and see it is a differentiating factor where they can establish clear blue water with regards to what user's want.

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Re: Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space

I think you mean security "expert" Steve Gobson. His expertise is mostly self-proclaimed and largely debunked by, wait for it, security experts (no quotes).

He's best known for emotional manipulation, mis-representing information to make himself look better, and generally favouring style over substance.

And he thinks Apple's security is good? Quell surprise!

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Re: Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space

He didn't say Apple's security was good, he said their security policy was better than anyone else's because they try to do right by the customer. You can be skeptical of that if you wish, but Apple has no incentive to screw over their customers. They make a lot of money when I buy an iPhone, it is not in their interest to add a single digit percentage to that profit by trying to steal my privacy by dealing in my personal data.

Google tries to do right by their customers too, the problem for Google's users are that they are not the customers, they are the product. Google's customers are the advertisers who pay them to help target their ads. Thus Google's privacy policy has a lot more holes than Apple's, because they reserve the right to use just about any information they can possibly collect from you when you search, click or mail.

Someone else said Apple's online security record was "spotty". I take it you're referring to the nude celeb pics scandal from a few days ago? How is it Apple's fault if celebs didn't realize that answering the "security questions" correctly left them open to attack since the answers to questions like the high school they attended and name of their first pet can be easily found on the internet?

Some have criticized them for not offering two factor authentication for iCloud (which they now do, or plan to do) but seriously, are celebs who didn't realize they were exposing themselves (literally and figuratively) by answering the security questions correctly really going to know they should be using two factor security, or even what it is if they see a checkbox to enable it? It is only people who read the Reg who know what it is, if you ask a typical smartphone user (iPhone or Android) you'll be met with a blank stare.

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NFC? . . . .

Is this the same NFC tech that created an industry of "protective" wallets that prevents a person with the right gear from walking past you and capturing all your info? We got issued Chase NFC credit cards when they first came out. Called Chase, shredded the cards and ordered new standard cards. Chase said they understood and it was no problem. Guess they have had a lot of rejection on these cards. Also have noticed a lot of retailers that openly rejected this system to a point I thought it was dead or at least the analysts said it was. Even got a couple of inserts with my bills stating that those retailers would never use NFC, so I wouldn't worry. Hmmm, curious . . . .

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Re: NFC? . . . .

No, it's not the same NFC tech, as the user is authenticated by a combination of device and fingerprint.

Apple have convinced card issuers that this is secure. But what about something like the iPhone replacing an Oyster Card? There would be little joy in having to muck about with fingerprints when going through a busy ticket barrier, for example.

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Holmes

Re: NFC? . . . .

Strange. In Australia, Asia, etc. NFC is quite popular and widespread. About 75% of Australian retailers have it installed and most cards issued by banks use it. Android phones are quite popular in Asia because they have NFC installed.

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Re: NFC? . . . .

Since you can already use NFC phones in place of an Oyster, it would seem logical that low value transactions can occur without authentication. The fingerprint ID is no less secure than a signature which is all that is required in the US and arguably equal to a PIN.

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FAIL

Re: NFC? . . . .

Crowded underground station, I drop my Oyster card. Somebody stands on it. I pick it up - it still works,

Crowded underground station. I drop my iPhone. Sombody stand on it. Oops.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: NFC? . . . .

Learn not to be so bloody clumsy? Half the people in crowded underground stations already have their phones out already...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: NFC? . . . .

Apple have convinced card issuers that this is secure. But what about something like the iPhone replacing an Oyster Card? There would be little joy in having to muck about with fingerprints when going through a busy ticket barrier, for example.

First of all, I simply do not like NFC payments because of their lack of verification, but the mobile phone implementations are at least locked down so they don't broadcast all the time. However, as Android and Apple mobile phones are at the top spot for stolen mobiles it strikes me as folly making people confirm they have one and that credit cards are active on the device - that makes it twice as interesting to steal.

Add to that that the CCC in Hamburg found the fingerprint reader was easy to defeat and the fact that any shiny object will happily hold the required fingerprint elsewhere on the device and I fear this is simply not a very good idea. About the only thing I like more about Apple's approach is that it is (allegedly) not slurping your purchase habits for resale. Until someone buys a porn mag with it...

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Re: NFC? . . . .

Fingerprint?

(Tinfoil hat mode) There's no way on earth I would ever let any corporation to store a copy of my fingerprint. Not gonna happen.

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Re: NFC? . . . .

Fingerprint?

The iPhone, nor any corporation it connects to, stores a 'copy' of a fingerprint. The iPhone stores a hash of the fingerprint in its secure enclave. A bit like good websites never store users' passwords in a database - they store a hash that is only good for verification purposes when a subsequent password is entered. The hash can't be used to reconstruct any particular fingerprint.

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Re: NFC? . . . .Sid_the_Kid

Are you sure about using phones instead of Oysters?

Only yesterday I was talking to the man at my station barrier and he said that you couldn't and he hadn't heard any news about it coming. card-clash yes, but phone-bonk...?

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