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New iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 incorporate NFC chip for Apple Pay in apps, but not in-store tap-to-pay transactions

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Friday, October 24, 2014, 05:44 pm PT (08:44 pm ET)

Apple’s newest iPads feature one of the same chips used by iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to handle tap-to-pay NFC transactions, but the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 only support Apple Pay within apps, sparing users the embarrassment of carrying around a gigantic alternative to their credit card.

After iFixit.com identified a NFC chip (the NXP 65V10 NFC Controller) in Apple’s new iPad Air 2 as being the same as one found in iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (highlighted in green, below), a variety of news sources speculated that this would enable a future software upgrade to NFC proximity Apple Pay transactions.

However, the new iPads lack both supporting logic chips and the antenna required to perform wireless transactions over NFC. This will also prevent merchants from being able to use the new iPad as an NFC “Point of Sale” device to accept Apple Pay transactions.

Fortunately, however, Apple Pay can also be transacted via merchant apps, obviating any need for stores to actually replace all of their existing POS devices with new iPad models in order to begin accepting Apple Pay purchases.

Apple’s own retail store app, along with apps ranging from OpenTable and Groupon to Lyft and Uber to Instacart and Hotel Tonight to Panera Bread and Target (and expanding to AirBnb, Disney, Starbucks, Levis, Sephora, Eventbrite Ticketmaster, StubHub and the Major League Baseball app by the end of 2014) have already initiated Apple Pay within their apps, enabling new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 users to make secure purchases via Touch ID just as iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus can.

Because the latest iPads with Touch ID can support Apple Pay in apps, but not at retail stores, they do not have a Passbook app. Instead, they handle all Apple Pay credit card configuration entirely within Settings under “Passbook Apple Pay” (shown below).

Apple Pay requires an NFC Secure Element

This type of in-app Apple Pay requires an NFC “Secure Element,” a special storage block typically built into an NFC controller chip, which securely stores the user’s payment information. This chip interfaces directly with the separate Secure Enclave processing core in Apple’s A7, A8 or A8X Application Processors to authenticate the user via a fingerprint scan and then unlock the user’s payment credentials in the form of a secure token.

This payment mechanism erects firewalls that strictly prevent any apps on the system from being able to sneak any access to either the user’s fingerprint-related data or their credit card credentials, even if the user were tricked into installing a malicious app designed expressly to steal their information. In-app Apple Pay requires an NFC “Secure Element,” a special storage block typically built into an NFC controller chip, which securely stores the user’s payment information

The only way Apple Pay can access the account token from the Secure Element is by verifying a fingerprint with Touch ID. And the most cost effective and secure way to create such a secure environment is to incorporate a Secure Element on a standard chip designed to support NFC payments.

Last year’s iPhone 5s has Touch ID and an A7 with the Secure Enclave to secure their fingerprint data (the chip doesn’t actually store a fingerprint image, but rather a number derived from the user’s fingerprint scan that can be used to verify subsequent scans as coming from the same user and nobody else).

However, the first generation Touch ID phone lacks an NFC chip supplying a Secure Element, so iPhone 5s can’t make in app Apple Pay purchases (or of course, NFC in store purchases) unless it is paired with the upcoming Apple Watch, which will incorporate its own NFC wireless radio.

Because Apple Watch verifies the user via a PIN code entry when it is put on, Apple Pay on Apple Watch won’t require Touch ID, meaning it will work with both iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. Once Apple Watch is removed, it erases its PIN and requires the user to again authenticate before making new Apple Pay transactions, a design intended to prevent theft.

All Apple devices capable of running iOS 7 or iOS 8 also support Activation Lock, which prevents thieves from simply erasing and factory resetting stolen iOS devices for easy resale once a passcode is set up.

Apple’s Touch ID additionally simplifies the use of passcodes, making it effortless to unlock an iPhone or iPad secured with Activation Lock without constantly retyping one’s passcode.

Outside of Apple: activation lock NFC on Android and Windows Phone

Smartphones from Google and Microsoft are legally mandated to supply a similar anti-theft mechanism by the middle of next year under a new law passed in California. Complying with this law will be complicated by the fact that most non-Apple phones lack a fingerprint sensor for easily unlocking the device, and those that do (like Samsung’s Galaxy S5) reportedly do not work well and are not similarly secured by a mechanism like Apple’s Secure Enclave.

Additionally, while early Android phones supporting NFC payments via Google Wallet incorporated an NFC Secure Element, Google shifted its proximity payment strategy after gaining very little traction for Wallet (even as it financed and built out much of the existing NFC infrastructure needed to support Apple Pay by iPhone 6 models and Apple Watch) to instead use “Host Card Emulation,” which is verified in the cloud rather than against data stored locally in a Secure Element.

This enabled new Android devices to ship without a Secure Element (such as the 2013 Nexus 7) and yet still make NFC purchases.

However, because “HCE” Google Wallet transactions must verify transactions via the cloud, payments only work when the user has data service. In-store Apple Pay does not require data service to function, so it will work for merchants in underground malls or—perhaps in the future—to buy drinks on airplanes, even without logging into Gogo inflight Internet.

This summer, Google Wallet was identified as a built-in Android app susceptible to the Fake ID flaw, which allows any Android app to pretend to be another app, and thereby gain all of its privileges.

Any app pretending to be Google Wallet can gain full access to the user’s NFC payment credentials. This sort of NFC exploit is not possible on iOS, firstly because Apple’s mobile OS actually verifies app’s security certificates, and secondly because there are no apps on iOS that can read the Secure Element without first authenticating through the Secure Enclave built into in Apple’s custom Application Processors.

Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/3fcf45fa/sc/15/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C140C10A0C240Cnew0Eipad0Eair0E20Eipad0Emini0E30Eincorporate0Enfc0Echip0Efor0Eapple0Epay0Ein0Eapps0Ebut0Enot0Ein0Estore0Etap0Eto0Epay0Etransactions/story01.htm


Nearly half of Gazelle’s early iPhone upgrades ordered Apple’s larger, more expensive iPhone 6 Plus

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Friday, October 24, 2014, 01:41 pm PT (04:41 pm ET)

In yet another piece of favorable news surrounding Apple’s recent entry into the phablet space, the nation’s leading electronics buyback service said Friday that almost half of its early 2014 iPhone trade-in customers who pre-ordered a new iPhone 6 chose to purchase one of the larger, more premium-priced Plus models.

Gazelle in late September surveyed hundreds of customers who locked in cash payouts for their old iPhones before Apple announced the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Of those customers, 86% told the company they went forward with pre-ordering one of the two iPhone 6 models that Apple unveiled.

“Demand for the larger, and higher cost, 6 plus is substantial,” Gazelle said in a report on the survey results. “Many customers are telling us that they’re eager to buy the new iPhone, but Apple hasn’t yet been able to meet the demand for the device.”

The firm found that 46% of customers ordered the 6 Plus with the remaining 54% having ordered the smaller iPhone 6. That’s a much more favorable mix shift towards the Plus than most earlier estimates, which put the slice of Pluses sold closer to 25%.

A higher than expected mix shift towards iPhone 6 Plus sales could serve as a boon for Apple’s bottom line during the critical holiday quarter, as the handset maker charges higher prices for — and undoubtedly reaps significantly larger profits from — each iPhone 6 Plus than it does from the sale of each regular iPhone 6.

Gazelle also noted that more than a third (35%) of customers who pre-ordered the new iPhone were told by Apple or their carriers that their new iPhone 6 wouldn’t ship until at least October 16th with many not expecting to receive their devices until November 2014.

For those customers, the company also launched Friday a limited time promotion that automatically tacks on a $10 bonus to the cash payout it offers on any working iPhone trade-on valued at $100 or more. Customers who lock in a price quote today have up to 30 days to return their iPhone to Gazelle in the pre-paid shipping box the company provides.

AppleInsider regularly tracks and maintains a list of trade-in services and cash payouts in its Trade-in Payout Guide.

Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/3fce259f/sc/15/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C140C10A0C240Cnearly0Ehalf0Eof0Egazelles0Eearly0Eiphone0Eupgrades0Eordered0Eapples0Elarger0Emore0Eexpensive0Eiphone0E60Eplus/story01.htm


Multi-carrier Apple SIM ‘dedicated’ to AT&T’s network upon activation, not carried by Sprint Stores

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Friday, October 24, 2014, 02:43 pm PT (05:43 pm ET)

It was discovered on Friday that ATT is dedicating the new multi-carrier Apple SIM included with the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 to its network, forcing buyers to obtain a new one when switching to another carrier, while Sprint Stores will not supply the card at all.

With its latest cellular-connected iPad models, Apple introduced the “Apple SIM,” a micro-SIM card compatible with multiple wireless providers around the world. At launch, Apple announced ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile and the UK’s EE as participating carriers, but it appears some telcos are pushing back against the initiative.

As noted by iMore, a support document posted to Apple’s website on Friday points out a few limitations to its Apple SIM hardware, as imposed by cellular providers.

Using Apple SIM, you can choose from different cellular carriers and their various programs. The data plans vary by carrier. For instance, in the United States, you can choose a domestic plan from either Sprint or T-Mobile and also pick an alternate plan from the other carrier as needed. When you choose ATT on iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, ATT dedicates Apple SIM to their network only.

By dedicating Apple SIM to its network, ATT nullifies much of the utility offered by Apple’s system. If an ATT iPad owner intends to switch between carriers using short-term subscriptions, they will need to get a new Apple SIM for outside networks. This is basically how the system worked prior to Apple SIM.

It should be noted that ATT is not locking in iPad hardware, meaning users are free to change carriers so long as they acquire a new Apple SIM from that provider or Apple.

The document also notes that Sprint Stores will not include Apple SIM with new iPad purchases, instead opting for “legacy Sprint SIM cards” that assumedly do not support multiple carriers.

If you purchase your iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 from a carrier retail location, your Apple SIM will only be compatible with that carrier’s program. If you purchase your iPad Air or iPad mini 3 from an Apple Retail, Apple On-line store, or a reseller within countries where Apple SIM is supported, you’ll have all participating carriers to choose from.

Apple Online Store: All supported carriers in that country
Apple Retail Store: All supported carriers in that country
Reseller: All supported carriers in that country
Participating carrier store: Only the carrier from that carrier store
Note: Sprint Stores will only carry iPads with legacy Sprint SIM cards (not Apple SIM cards).

The issue is more confusing for T-Mobile. A supposedly leaked internal document suggested the company would also be locking the Apple SIM onto its network, at least those units included in iPads sold through the telco’s retail chain. However, a series of tweets from CEO John Legere suggests T-Mobile is not locking in Apple SIMs and will provide full multi-carrier compatibility as Apple intended.

For now, those in the market for a new iPad may best be served by making the purchase through Apple’s online or brick-and-mortar stores, not official carrier outlets. In the case of ATT, however, activating the iPad will tie the included Apple SIM to the carrier’s network. It is unclear if Sprint and T-Mobile do the same.

Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/3fce85cd/sc/15/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C140C10A0C240Cmulti0Ecarrier0Eapple0Esim0Ededicated0Eto0Eatts0Enetwork0Enot0Ecarried0Eat0Esprint0Estores/story01.htm


Sprint expands ‘iPhone for Life’ plans with new 12-month lease option

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Friday, October 24, 2014, 03:28 pm PT (06:28 pm ET)

Adding to its iPhone-specific incentives program, Sprint on Friday announced a new 12-month lease option for its “iPhone for Life” plan, which lets subscribers “rent” a new iPhone for a preset period instead of buying it.

Under the new terms, customers can upgrade their iPhone every 12 months, in line with Apple’s usual annual product cycle. Sprint’s new lease option is an update to the original 24-month “iPhone for life” program that debuted alongside the iPhone 6 in September.

Pricing is based on model and capacity, with a 16GB iPhone 6 coming in at $30 per month, while a 16GB iPhone 6 Plus costs $35 per month. This compares to $20 per month for a base model iPhone 6 and $25 per month for a 6 Plus on the 24-month iPhone for Life term.

“Consumers have told us they want the best value and the ability to upgrade their devices every year,” said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. “Sprint delivers with its new 12-month lease offer, allowing customers to upgrade to the latest iPhone every year. The iPhone for Life Plan gives customers the lowest monthly cost in the industry for acquiring an iPhone. We are making it easy and affordable for consumers to get what they want.”

Aside from freedom to upgrade, Sprint’s plan also lets customers take home a new iPhone without putting down a lump sum payment. Following the lease period, subscribers can choose to purchase the device, continue to lease it on a month-to-month basis or return it.

Sprint intends to launch the new 12-month iPhone for Life plan on Nov. 14. The wireless carrier is also planning to make the iPhone 5s available for lease on that date, with prices starting at $18 per month for 24-months.

Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/3fcebe9f/sc/5/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C140C10A0C240Csprint0Eexpands0Eiphone0Efor0Elife0Eplans0Ewith0Enew0E120Emonth0Elease0Eoption/story01.htm


First-week OS X Yosemite adoption rate outpaces Mavericks, now at 12.8%

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Friday, October 24, 2014, 04:04 pm PT (07:04 pm ET)

According to recently published statistics, Apple’s latest OS X Yosemite release is seeing slightly better take up rates than last year’s OS X Mavericks launch, with current North American distribution pegged at 12.8 percent as of Wednesday.

Source: Chitika Research

The results, provided by the research arm of ad network Chitika, found OS X Yosemite accounted for more than one percent of all North American Web traffic generated by OS X users on launch day. This is more than double first-day adoption rates set by Apple’s prior OS X Mavericks and OS X Mountain Lion releases.

Chitika points out that the slightly higher uptake could be a result of higher Mac sales over the past year. Last week, Apple announced it sold 5.5 million Macs over the three months ending in September, an all-time record. The performance smashed Apple’s previous record set in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011, when the company sold 4.9 million Mac computers.

As for the disparity in Web traffic compared to OS X Mountain Lion, the research firm notes the two-year-old operating system was a $19.99 upgrade from OS X Lion, potentially prompting slower initial uptake. Since Mavericks, Apple has made OS X updates free to download from the Mac App Store.

Apple released OS X Yosemite on Oct. 16 with a new “flat” aesthetic and support for so-called “Continuity” features that integrate tightly with iOS 8. For example, users can now place and receive phone calls, send and receive SMS texts and create instant hotspots with a connected iPhone.

Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/3fceb26f/sc/15/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C140C10A0C240Cfirst0Eweek0Eos0Ex0Eyosemite0Eadoption0Erate0Eoutpaces0Emavericks0Enow0Eat0E128/story01.htm


Amazon Rewards Visa Card adds support for Apple Pay

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Friday, October 24, 2014, 06:35 am PT (09:35 am ET)

Owners of the popular Amazon Rewards Visa Card, which awards 3 percent back on all Amazon.com purchases, can now add their card to Passbook for the newly launched Apple Pay service.


The Amazon Rewards Visa was not compatible with Apple Pay when it debuted on Monday, telling users that the card was not yet supported. But that’s changed as of Friday, and users can now scan or enter the card and add it to their digital wallet.

Given the variety of items available for purchase on Amazon.com, the company’s rewards card is particularly popular. Many AppleInsider readers reached out this week to express frustration that the card did not support Apple Pay at launch.

In addition to offering 3 percent back on Amazon.com purchases, the card also gives 2 percent back on purchases at gas stations, restaurants and drug stores. Customers can also earn 1 percent back on all other purchases, and the points can be used toward Amazon.com purchases.


Another major bank not yet participating in Apple Pay is Discover, which as of Friday still cannot be added to the digital wallet service for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Discover has said it is in talks with Apple regarding the new service, but no timeframe for support has been given.

Users who have already entered other credit cards into Passbook but want to change their default card to the Amazon Visa can follow AppleInsider’s in-depth guide on how to change the default Apple Pay credit card. Users with multiple cards enter into Apple Pay can also tap the collection of cards at the bottom of the screen when completing a transaction and manually choose a card for a one-time purchase.

Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/3fcb7181/sc/36/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C140C10A0C240Camazon0Erewards0Evisa0Ecard0Eadds0Esupport0Efor0Eapple0Epay/story01.htm


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