During my interviews with Chinese companies developing NFC chips last year, I learned:
Compared to NFC-embedded mobile handsets, the SIM card-based proximity payment solution, will cost less and is friendlier to both users and operators. It also promises faster-to-implement e-wallet applications for the masses. "There is no need for consumers to buy a new NFC phone, they can just replace their SIM card," said Min Hao, executive chairman of Quanray Electronics.
I don't think Apple adding NFC would make NFC based payments take off. NFC is a solution looking for a problem. Why is tapping your phone against a payment terminal any better than having it communicate via Bluetooth or Wifi? Either way the payment needs to be authenticated in some manner, simply tapping your phone is so insecure its laughable.
Blue Tooth and WiFi are too long range. When I pay for my lunch with NFC I want to be sure that it is my lunch I'm paying for, not yours. Similarly, how would one use WiFi to control a ticket barrier? (Subway trains in Tokyo and London use NFC for payment). And, no other authorisation is needed, that would defeat the point. The fact that the NFC card or phone is in my hand and not yours is authorisiation enough. (I'm buying lunch or a subway ride, not a new laptop). NFC replaces cash, not debit and credit cards, which are generally useed for largerr transactions.
In Asia, majority people use public transportation at least couple times a day and do quick shopping like water/coffee/sanwiches/snackes, paying small bills/parking fee/laundry service ... at convenient stores, at least 2-3 times a day if it is not more. I have to admit I can't live without 7-11 stores nearby these days. This is espically true for big cities like Hong Kong/Taipei. Not so many stores accept credit card but they all have its own kind of cash card and its own APP to even give you more promotion on store items when you use the cash card. you can imagine how many different cards you need in one day. It is not lazy, it is called managing your messy life in a more organized way:-)
iphone is not going to get popular in Asia if they are so many No-No to basic functions. NFC, wireless earphones... Not to mention the lousy map. I gave up iphone 6 months ago, basically it can't do what other phones can do, give me a CORRECT map TIMELY. Google map app is just too slow to catch car's speed, and I am not buying a phone upgrade iPhone5/5S just for such a basic function. I will buy a phone with true function/capability upgrade not because of their strange business decision. I don't deserve to suffer for their bad planning.
I don't know whether people are lazy or just in a hurry. I'd cite, by analogy, toll booths on New York area highways and bridges. It doesn't take long to stop and pay but driving through the toll booth at 65 miles an hour and paying by EZpass is a lot faster (and avoids the traffic congestion of the stop and go payment system). NFC will find a niche - we just have to be sure there is a way to ensure we're paying the right person's bill.
While the legacy iPhone 5 models are being discontinued, there are still a few of them in stores. Yesterday at about 2 pm, a price reduction of $100 was announced for the discontinued inventory iPhone 5 phones. That wasn't mentioned in the press conference the day before.
Since, I just fell to Earth from Mars, I had to do a quick study on this thing called "Liquidmetals" that I had never heard of before; please allow me to copy/paste here for a quick reference: Liquidmetal and Vitreloy are commercial names of a series of amorphous metal alloys developed by a California Institute of Technology (Caltech) research team and marketed by Liquidmetal Technologies. Liquidmetal alloys combine a number of desirable material features, including high tensile strength, excellent corrosion resistance, very high coefficient of restitution and excellent anti-wearing characteristics, while also being able to be heat-formed in processes similar to thermoplastics. Despite the name, they are not liquid at room temperature. The alloy was the end result of a research program into amorphous metals carried out at Caltech... These alloys also retain their amorphous [i.e. non-crystalline] structure after repeated re-heating, allowing them to be used in a wide variety of traditional machining processes. Liquidmetal alloys contain atoms of significantly different sizes. They form a dense mix with low free volume. Unlike crystalline metals, there is no obvious melting point at which viscosity drops suddenly...The viscosity prevents the atoms moving enough to form an ordered lattice, so the material retains its amorphous properties even after being heat-formed... The alloys are also malleable at low temperatures (400 °C or 752 °F for the earliest formulation), and can be molded. The low free volume also results in low shrinkage during cooling. For all of these reasons, Liquidmetal can be formed into complex shapes using processes similar to thermoplastics, which makes Liquidmetal a potential replacement for many applications where plastics would normally be used. Read more at <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquidmetal>