NFC In iPhone Mobiles





Written by Mehdi CHEBBAH

Table of Contents

If you are interested in IT news, you have probably heard people talking about NFC in the last few years, as it is a popular technology that is used everywhere from headsets, to file sharing, to payment devices and lot of other use cases. You may be wondering now, what is this NFC technology? how does it works? what is it used for? and if you are an iPhone fan (just like me) what iPhone devices that support this technology? and how to use it? In the following we will try to answer these questions!

So let get straight into it 👇

What is NFC ?

Near Field Communication or NFC in short, is a proximity-based wireless communication standard. It enables communication between two electronic devices over a distance of 10 cm or less. You can find NFC technology on smartphones, tablets, speakers, gaming consoles, payment systems, and many other devices.

NFC devices work on one of the three following modes:

How does NFC works ?

How does NFC works [Source]

NFC is based on RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, that has already been around for decades, it’s the technology used to allow you to access an office building or hotel room using a key card.

NFC works as follows:

  1. The reader device generate a magnetic field by passing an electric current through a coil.
  2. When a tag (with its own coil) is brought nearby, the field induces an electric current within the tag -without any wires or physical contact-.
  3. Once the initial handshake is complete, any stored data on the tag is wirelessly transmitted to the reader.

Another noteworthy point is that NFC devices can act as either a reader or tag. This bidirectional capability allows users to use their NFC devices in the three modes.

The following table shows you the features offered by the NFC technology:

FeaturesNFC Support
RF Carrier Frequency13.56 MHz
Distanceless than 10 cm
Data Rate106 or 212 or 424 Kbps
NFC Network DevicesTags and Readers
Network configurationpeer to peer
NFC Network Device ModesCard Emulation, Reader/Writer, Peer-to-Peer
connection establishment time<0.1 sec
Data Coding SchemesNRZ-L, Manchester, Modified Miller
Data Modulation SchemesASK, BPSK
Collision mechanism (i.e. MAC)Anti-collision support
NFC StandardsISO 14443A/B, ISO 18092, JIS X6319-4

What is NFC used for ?

NFC has a wide rang of use-cases, here are few of them:

iPhones and NFC

Apple started including a NFC chip in its iPhone phones in 2014 starting form iPhone 6 which was the Apple’s first released phone that supports NFC. The following table summarizes NFC support in all iPhone phones [Source]:

iPhoneNFC chipApple Pay NFC supportRead NFC tagsWrite NFC tagsRead NFC in Background
13, 13 Pro / Max, 13 Mini✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
12, 12 Pro / Max, 12 Mini✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
11, 11 Pro / Max, SE (2nd Gen)✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
XS, XS Max, XR✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
X, 8, 8+,7 ,7+✔️✔️✔️✔️✖️
6, 6+, 6S, 6S+, SE (1st Gen)✔️✔️✖️✖️✖️
5S, 5C, 5, 4S, 4, 3GS, 3G✖️✖️✖️✖️✖️

By the way, all iPhone phones that are using iOS 14 or newer and have NFC support, automatically read all kinds of NFC tags without needing third-party apps, including web addresses (URLs), emails, phone numbers, and SMS messages.

How to use NFC on iPhone 11 ?

Let’s suppose you have an iPhone 11, we know now that it supports NFC, not only that but it supports NFC in the background, what does this means ? This means that you don’t need to activate anything before using it, cool isn’t it! Here is how to use it:

For example, if you tap your iPhone 11 to a NFC-enabled Bluetooth device it will show you a notification asking you to peer the two devices, you can choose an action right from the notification. Another example could be if you read a NFC tag containing a URL using your iPhone 11, a notification will show up asking you if you want to follow the URL, Just as simple as that!

Here is a 90 sec video that shows you how to use NFC in iPhone 11:


In the previous few sentences, you learned the basics of NFC and how to use it on iPhone 11. If you are interested in learning more about it or want to know how to use it in other devices, you can read the following articles:

What do you think about this technology? please share with us your thoughts through the comments section.