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Is it real life or fantasy? EU reportedly happy with Apple for once

Apple opening up the iPhone's NFC chip to third-party contactless payment services has reportedly satisfied the EU.

Published onJune 19, 2024

Apple Pay on iPhone 12 Mini next to many credit cards stock photo (1)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Earlier this year, Apple opened up the iPhone’s NFC chip to third-party contactless payment services in the EU to comply with the DMA.
  • Following some extensive evaluation, the EU is reportedly happy with Apple’s NFC-related changes, and the probe will likely be settled soon.
  • Apple has reportedly committed to maintaining the NFC chip’s openness for a decade.

A few months ago, Apple rolled out iOS 17.4 with some major, EU-exclusive features to comply with the Digital Markets Acts (DMA). While that iOS update‘s highlight was support for third-party app stores, Apple implemented some other changes to dodge the EU’s hefty fines. These include opening up the iPhone’s NFC chip to third-party contactless payment platforms. After investigating Apple’s NFC-related changes, the EU is reportedly happy with the company’s execution.

According to a report by the Financial Times, the EU is satisfied with the iPhone’s NFC-related changes, and it’s expected to settle the relevant probe soon. By opening up the chip to EU-based third parties, Apple has dodged a significant fine that could’ve amounted to 10% of its annual revenue — around $40 billion. The iPhone maker has also pledged to maintain these particular changes for a decade.

Prior to the iOS 17.4 update, third-party payment services could only access the latest iPhones‘ NFC chips by supporting Apple Pay. The recent change gives developers in the EU more flexibility by allowing them to adopt contactless payment support directly in their apps — without relying on Apple Pay or Wallet.

While Apple may have dodged an NFC-related penalty in the EU, it could still be fined for other reasons. For example, many have criticized its Core Technology Fee, which developers have to pay even when opting for third-party app stores. Ultimately, the EU is still investigating Apple’s recent changes, and it will demand more tweaks if it finds them unsatisfactory.

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