When Apple demoed Passbook in June, many assumed that the ticketing/payment app, which will debut with iOS 6, would use near field communication, or NFC. However, AppleInsider now suggests that Apple’s plan for Passbook is much different than originally believed.
Late last month, we reported that the sixth-generation iPhone would likely not include NFC technology, despite many rumors to the contrary. At the time, we wondered what this would mean for Passbook. Now, we may have the answer.
According to the source, Apple has forgone NFC, which is also known as radio frequency identification, or RFID, because it requires new hardware to work. Instead, what Apple envisions is entirely software-based. This means that Passbook will work on any iOS device dating back to the 2009 iPhone 3GS.
As such, the native app is “just the client interface for a series of features Apple has woven through iOS 6 and its supporting cloud services, including the App Store and its Push Notification Service.”
In doing so, Apple hopes Passbook will make iOS apps related “to shopping and other retail transactions better, smarter, and more visible to users.”
As a reminder, Apple is expected to unveil the next iPhone sometime later this month. At the same time, Cupertino will likely release iOS 6 to the public.