Which iPhones Have NFC: A Simple Guide w/ A Handy Table!

by | 09/09/2020 8:40 pm
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Which iPhones have NFC? Let’s show you the answer in this post.

Apple’s iPhones keep raking in huge sales year after year. Besides, customers make use of these phones because of the features and technologies they come with.

We are used to several wireless technologies on the iPhone, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Hotspot, and with the most recent models, wireless charging.

However, not much is said about NFC, and not many iPhone users make use of it. Maybe, you do not know if your iPhone has this intuitive technology or not.

In this post, we will be finding out which iPhones have NFC. But, before we proceed, let’s understand what NFC is all about.

What Is NFC?

NFC is an acronym for Near Field Communication. It is a wireless technology that allows devices – laptops, tablets, mobile phones, etc. – to connect and share data with other compatible devices, i.e, devices that also incorporates NFC technology.

It is very similar to the Bluetooth technology that enables compatible devices and gadgets to connect and share data. However, NFC is an update from RFID technology – Radio Frequency Identification, so it is very much advanced that Bluetooth technology.

Conversely, NFC technology does not require scanning for discovery and pairing devices as Bluetooth does. Once an NFC device is brought within the range of another (4 inches), it connects automatically. Also, you can initiate an NFC-powered connection by placing two NFC-compatible devices together.

Which iPhones Have NFC?

Listed below are all iPhone models, let’s find out which iPhones have NFC and which do not.

S/N MODEL HAS NFC? SUPPORTED 
1. iPhone 11 Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
  • NFC Tag reading
  • NFC Tag Writing
2. iPhone 11 Pro Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
  • NFC Tag reading
  • NFC Tag Writing
3. iPhone 11 Pro Max Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
  • NFC Tag reading
  • NFC Tag Writing
4. iPhone SE (2nd Gen) Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
  • NFC Tag reading
  • NFC Tag Writing
5. iPhone Xs Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
  • NFC Tag reading
  • NFC Tag Writing
6. iPhone Xs Max Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
  • NFC Tag reading
  • NFC Tag Writing
7. iPhone XR Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
  • NFC Tag reading
  • NFC Tag Writing
8. iPhone X Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
  • NFC Tag reading
  • NFC Tag Writing
9. iPhone 8 Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
  • NFC Tag reading
  • NFC Tag Writing
10. iPhone 8+ Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
  • NFC Tag reading
  • NFC Tag Writing
11. iPhone 7 Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
  • NFC Tag reading
  • NFC Tag Writing
12. iPhone 7+ Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
  • NFC Tag reading
  • NFC Tag Writing
13. iPhone 6s Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
14. iPhone 6s+ Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
15. iPhone 6 Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
16. iPhone 6+ Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
17. iPhone SE (1st Gen) Yes
  • NFC Card Emulation
  • NFC Payments
18. iPhone 5s No
  • Nil
19. iPhone 5c No
  • Nil
20. iPhone 5 No
  • Nil
21. iPhone 4S No
  • Nil
22. iPhone 4 No
  • Nil
23. iPhone 3GS No
  • Nil
24. iPhone 3G No
  • Nil

Note: As you can see, the NFC technology is absent on iPhone 5 and lower generation models.

What To Know About NFC Technology In iPhones?

Before the iPhone 6, NFC was unknown to iPhones. Mainly, this was due to no use case. Then, the introduction of Apple Pay in the iPhone 6 and the follow-up models provided that use case. The iPhone 6, 6s, 6+, and 6s + all incorporated the NFC technology, but were limited to only card emulation and NFC payments because Apple Pay was its only payment technology.

That way, iPhone users could make payment by holding up their device to an NFC compatible payment checkpoint. Besides, they could link their credit cards to their Apple Wallet. Fortunately, it wasn’t long until iPhone users became conversant with this technology. Not to mention, there were low fees involved.

When the iPhone 7 came with the new iOS 11, Apple extended the NFC functionality, allowing iPhone to read NFC tags by using third-party apps. Although the previous iPhone models were compatible with the iOS 11, their NFC functionality was still limited to Apple Pay.

Conversely, the NFC functionality on iPhones remained this way until the release of the iPhone XS and follow-up models. These new iPhones eliminated the need to use third-party apps to read NFC tags. Instead, by 2019, when the iOS 13 was released, Apple extended the NFC functionality to writing tags. This was supported in the iPhone 7 and latter devices. However, NFC tag writing is only supported using third-party apps.

Bottom Line

In this post, we have answered the fundamental question – which iPhones have NFC?

Currently, NFC is an emerging technology that all recent mobile phones incorporates. For the iPhone, all recent models feature this technology as well. You will only find NFC absent in ancient iPhone models like the iPhone 5 generation models.

What do you think about the NFC technology in iPhones? Let us know by commenting below.

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