Does the iPhone Have NFC?- What is NFC and its Limitaions in IPhone

does iphone have nfc

When we talk about iPhone, there is a myth that iPhones do not support any NFC system. But this is not true. The market is flooded with technology and phones with full NFC control. Apple continued to be divergent by restricting NFC technology from their phones. But after some time, Apple started to introduce NFC in their models but still kept security as the priority. Where all phones started to give full NFC control in 2012, Apple initiated minimal NFC control in 2014.

Here is a detail about NFC in iPhones.

What Is NFC?

Before we jump into the discussion about NFC in iPhones, it is necessary to introduce NFC briefly. First of all, NFC is the acronym for ( Near Field Communication ) , a well-renowned advanced technology which has been gaining popularity for more than just a couple of years. NFC is the technology that enables people to share data wirelessly like RFID, between two NFC-enabled devices in a limited distance range. You also hear the term about RFID both are the technologies to share data but there is difference between RFID vs NFC.

NFC feature is present directly in the phone and can also be carried out by third-party applications. It is safe to transfer data like contacts, documents, or media. With an enhancement in technology, NFC was used in contactless payment, which proved to be a lifesaver move in the pandemic.

NFC IN iPhones

Apple has kept its customers by giving them a much more secure device than Android. They did not consider NFC in their phones for years but introduced it with a new perspective.


  1. Data can be transferred by touching two phones closely.
  2. Pairing is very easy when devices are compatible.
  3. Samsung, android g apple pay are very popular nowadays for mobile payments.
  4. NFC tag, a small card, where u can save very small data like WIFI password and easily configure it e.g. if your friend wants your home’s Wi-Fi code you can paste it at home entrance so his phone’s NFC is on by touching it and reading that password.
  5. NFC business cards, visiting cards are NFC enabled by putting a small chip inside it by phone NFC on and touch card for reading information and can change or amend the data by using your mobile.

iPhone Models With NFC

Here are the models of iPhones that are compatible for NFC to some extent.

  • iPhone 6(6s/SE)
  • iPhone 7(7+)
  • iPhone  8(8 plus)
  • iPhone X(XR/XS/XS Max)
  • iPhone 11(Pro/Pro Max)
  • iPhone SE (2nd Generation)
  • iPhone 12 (Mini/Pro/ Pro Max)
  • iPhone 13(Pro/ Pro Max)

The very first generation of iPhones with NFC (iPhone 6 models) limited this functionality to just payments via Apple pay.

Furthermore, iPhone 7 and other newly released models allow the use of NFC for reading NFC tags by the usage of other applications.

By the time gone, iOS 13 and the release of iPhone XS and XR, they can also encode blank tags of NFC using third-party NFC apps.

And, finally, from the starting of iPhone model XS to iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, these are also able to read NFC tags in the background. Which means that you are not liable at the third party installation now only you have to tap your smartphone and read all the NFC tags.

All the iPhones that have NFC are using iOS 14 & the upcoming models are automatically able to read the NFC tags and so on.


NFC compatible chart

All of the above models are NFC enabled but to some different levels.

How To Use NFC On An iPhone

Moving on the discussion about NFC  is that type of technology which resembles radio technology. In this manner, it can exchange or shift data from one device to another.

But,  the question pop-up in my mind: “how can we use the NFC tag of an iPhone”?

The answer is very simple. Now follow the steps that are mentioned below on your screen:

  1. Bring your phone closer to the NFC tag in order to read it.
  2. Then, switch on your NFC reader manually on older phones.
  3. After that, use NFC technology to perform the contactless payments.
  4. Activate application clips with your NFC reader.

By tapping your iPhone to the other NFC-enabled device. Then hold the top back of your phone closely to the tag of NFC. So this way your iPhone reads the tag and shows the status on the notification bar. Finally, now you can perform that action.

Apple Pay by NFC Technology

When Apple introduced its phones with NFC technology, it was not normal. They did not aim to share data or increase their market value through NFC. They did not use NFC in their marketing label, and the main focus was Apple Pay only.

Apple Pay is an online payment application for Apple phones. The application was secure to use due to the Apple phone’s security features. The users have to connect their debit card or other bank cards to the Apple Pay application. Once the card is entered after verification, billing becomes a piece of cake. The customer has to bring the phone near the billing machine with the Apple Pay Application working on it, and here you are done with your billing. Apple has no security costs, so the feature is quite budget-friendly.

nfc connected

Limitation of NFC in iPhone Models

Starting from the initial model, iPhone 6 is the first model by Apple, which is NFC, enabled; all the models before this one do not have NFC.

Apple introduced NFC in iPhone 6, but the technology was only restricted to Apple Pay. There is no media sharing or document sharing in this model. The same goes for the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE.

Around 2017 Apple moved to the updated version of IOS known as IOS 11. iPhone 7 was the phone that first came with IOS 11. iPhone seven was enabled with Apple Pay, but it also came with a step forward for NFC in iPhones. iPhone users were able to read NFC tags through a third-party application. These third-party applications should be IOS-supported. This feature enabled the users to look at the brand features of physical products embedded with NFT codes just by one click on their iPhone.

More about iPhone Models:

The NFC features remained the same till iPhone XR.

With the introduction of the iPhone XS series and iPhone XR, the NFC technology in the iPhone was refreshed with a built-in NFC tag reading feature. Now Apple has elevated the need for third-party applications. The Reading NFC tag feature was on the home screen of the iPhone. This feature proved to be a bridge between physical shopping carried out by digital information.

Around 2019 iPhone came up with its new IOS version. The version IOS 13 came with a big change in the NFC technology in iPhones. The iPhones, even the model seven with IOS 13 to the latest, were able to write NFC tags with the help of a third-party IOS-certified application. The feature to write NFC tags opened the door of digital technology for users. The export of information such as URLs for different websites became easier.

Models till 11 Pro Max came with the same NFC automation technology.

While moving to iPhone 13 series Apple has generated a built-in NFC reader that never turns off. This means all the information is in your hands just by pointing towards the product.

The iPhone might work more on NFC in its future models and enable direct media sharing by NFC.

I hope now you are all clear about NFC on iPhones.


Q: How to turn on NFC on an iPhone?

Ans. On iPhone NFC is enabled or disabled by the applications where there is it’s need & in Android on or off is done directly by the OS. On the other hand in  iOS there is no main switch for NFC.

Q. Does my iPhone have NFC? What iPhone are NFC enabled?

Ans. All the iPhones released in recent years are NFC enabled & only in iPhone 6 which came in 2014 has built-in NFC chip.

Q. How to use NFC on an iPhone?

Ans. It is very simple using NFC on your iPhone. All you have to do is bring your iPhone closer to that device which is NFC enabled so it will be connected through reading the NFC tag of another device. On the other hand, you use the NFC of your iPhone when you hold the top back side of it close to an NFC tag so it will show a notification on your iPhone. Then you follow the action which is displayed on your screen.

Q. How to use your iPhone’s NFC for payments?


For payments through iPhone normally people use Apple pay it is the very known example for that iPhone which are NFC enabled because this process of payment is same in all starting from 6s and all the way to iPhone 12 or newer models.

Rather you are going in any store, restaurant or any other place where you want to pay with your phone, you have to tap your finger on touch ID and hold the top of your iPhone closer to pay terminal and on the other hand if you have iPhone 12 or newer tap you side button twice for payments through face ID.

When you do all the following steps your phone’s NFC will turn on and ready to make transactions through apple pay.


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