iPhone 6 payments – truths, half-truths, and the not-at-all truths

iPhone 6 payments rumour round-up – The truths, the half-truths, and the not-at-all truths.

Mystery is an integral part of the Apple brand, one that the company carefully preserves with its notoriously media-shy approach and its tendency to drip-feed information to iPhone aficionados – a process that frequent leaks may or may not play a deliberate role in, writes Ellie Chambers

The downside of this is that it is rare for the mainstream press to get its grubby hands on facts about Apple’s upcoming launches and far easier and more common for it to get hold of rumours that it then peddles ad nauseum.

The payments sector is no exception and Apple-rumour-fatigue is a common ailment that seems to affect all but PR reps. As people seem to like reading about Apple even if it is barely credible speculation that has no bearing on the final product, here is a collection of some of the latest Apple rumours.

The latest payments rumours:

1.       iPhone 6 will have NFC payment capability

This story was broken by French website Nowhere Else on 28 July, accompanied by pictures that were allegedly leaked images of the iPhone 6 motherboard. The pictures appeared to show a NFC communication chip built into the motherboard. However, this rumour has been recycled with every new Apple release for some years, with no tangible sign of the capability being added. 

2.       Apple is to release a Google wallet competitor

This report comes from US website The Information and claims the tech giant is working on an “iWallet” due to launch in autumn and function as a direct competitor to Google wallet. The website claimed Apple had told some partners its system would involve a secure element in the handset. It also offers contradictory theories on how the wallet will work, with one saying that the system is likely to be NFC-based and another suggesting that it will rely on Bluetooth and WiFi. It also speculates that Apple may be in talks with Visa over the mobile wallet.

3.       Apple has teamed up with PayPal over fingerprint scan payments

This rumour was widely reported after a team of PayPal developers was spotted at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, attending a session focussed around Touch ID. Just days before, Apple made the announcement that one of the iOS 8 APIs it was opening up to third party developers would be Touch ID, allowing users to sign into third party apps using their fingerprints. This and the presence of PayPal at the developer conference was enough to provoke speculation that the two tech firms were teaming up to create fingerprint payment authentication, allowing users to make purchases with one touch or swipe.

And now for some of the sillier rumours that are circulating:

1.       Apple deliberately slows down its old models when it launches a new product

Writing in the New York Times, researchers revealed that Google searches for the term “iPhone slow” peak after each new release. However, as the Guardian pointed out, as and apps and software get updated to do new things they can become slower on older hardware, leading to a gradual slowdown which may not be perceptible at once. Hearing about a new smartphone release reminds the user that their phone is older, making them more aware of their phone slowing down over time.

2.       Gold plated and diamond encrusted iPhone 6s’ are already available for pre-order

Sadly, silly as it is, this rumour is likely to prove true. The Lux iPhone 6 line, by Brikk, is said to comprise of 14 luxury versions of the iPhone 6, including 24-carat yellow gold, 24-carat pink gold and pure platinum models, white diamond Apple logo optional. The handsets are said to be available for pre-order now, despite there being no official launch date for the iPhone 6 yet.