Analyst Craig Hettenbach points to possible licensing deals, patent filings and more as a basis to for this claim. So far, Apple's close-proximity focuses have centered around Wi-Fi and iBeacons, and company VPs have brushed off the idea of NFC before. However Morgan Stanley believes NFC is ready to 'take off,' and Apple could be the force that helps its adoption.
According to Morgan Stanley, Apple is choosing NFC for the key technology for its mobile payments system with NXP, a semiconductor company, likely providing the necessary components.
NXP is well positioned to participate in Apple’s mobile payments ecosystem. The company signed a licensing agreement with a customer in Q4’13, who we believe is Apple, related to its emerging ID business. A recent patent filing by Apple revealed potential use of NFC and secure element, which we think could be embedded. NXP has also accelerated R&D spend to support a new program related to the IP deal, with revenue expected in 2H, lining up well with the launch of iPhone 6. We see this potentially adding $250mn in sales and EPS of $0.25 in 2015.
Tim Cook admitted that one of the thoughts behind Touch ID was in fact mobile payments, and other company executives have shown interest in the mobile payment area.