Apple reportedly developing a custom iPhone 7 for Japan

This year, Apple is bringing FeliCa support to its Japanese iPhones, says Bloomberg.

We now know that Apple will unveil its latest iPhone design on September 7, and that there will likely be a model with a dual camera. But Bloomberg is reporting that the company will also unveil a unique model for the Japanese market, offering support for Japan’s ubiquitous FeliCa tap-to-pay standard used in subways and on buses and trams.

iPhone SE

According to Bloomberg, FeliCa is much more common than NFC (Near Field Communication) in the Pacific country:

The FeliCa chip will let customers in Japan store their public bus and train passes on their iPhones. Users would then be able to tap their phones against the entrance scanners instead of using physical cards. While the FeliCa chip is the standard technology underlying the service, there are several different providers of cards based on the type of and within Japan.

FeliCa is used in nearly 2 in the country, around 30% more than the 1.3 used today in the U.S.

A unique SKU of the latest iPhone wouldn’t be new to Apple; the company has developed China-specific models that take advantage of that country’s unique TD-LTE and TD-SCMA networks, offered to China Mobile’s more than 850 million subscribers.


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