updated 10:35 am EST, Mon December 27, 2010
Highlights iPhone's key feature gap in Japan
Japanese carrier Softbank is planning to introduce a NFC (near-field communication) payment option for local iPhone 4 owners, reports say. Because the iPhone 4 lacks its own NFC receiver, the company will be offering special FeliCa-compatible seals that stick to the back, leaving enough space for the camera and flash. Softbank also suggests that the seals should be thin enough to allow use of Apple's Bumper cases.
The seals are believed to be "dumb" NFC cards, not capable of actually communicating with an iPhone. They do however address a competitive problem the iPhone has in Japan, as built-in NFC payment support is a common feature of other devices there. The Softbank seals will cost 2,980 yen (about $36) each once they ship in February.