iPhones and NFC

Many of my friends have iPhones, some of them as far back as iPhone 6. I know there has been a gradual evolution of the RFID antenna but I’m finding it hard to get good information on what each generation is capable of. Does anyone have a good overview?
In particular, I had someone ask how far back he could go and still get decent NFC use. There is a thriving second hand market here and an iPhone X goes for a fraction of the cost of a 14.

I have read previous threads on this topic that lament iPhone users not “seeing the light” and switching to Android which is “much better for NFC etc…” but before any of you start in on that vein please be aware that although some users are OK with upgrading their iPhone to a more recent version to get NFC, very few accept a complete platform change, especially as they have often invested in Apple computers, iPads, watches etc with which they are fully integrated.

I did a quick google search and this was the first result i.e. (I cant confirm the accuracy)


get an android




I think there were some iPhones that were fitted with NFC but were limited in their functionality.

Check out the Matrix for possibly some more info on specific models

:eyeroll: That list includes the iPhone 4S which hardly has a phone antenna, let alone NFC!

Yup. That’s what my question was. :slightly_smiling_face:

Found this article: https://www.digitalcitizen.life/iphone-nfc/ which gives a good overview and includes this handy chart:



Also as a fair warning, certain aspects of NFC do not work with apple devices. Their website explains what exactly an iPhone will register when reading an NFC signal.


Thank you. I’m not a coder but that link explains how the iPhone approaches NFC, especially in background mode.
I’m now curious to know if all Android phones, regardless of brand, NFC antenna hardware, etc all work the same way (as each other) in background mode? (ie without opening an NFC app)

All Android phones use the Android NFC stack.

Its Main task is to read ndef records - its native built in to every Android Software thats supposed to read NFC tags.

So every Android phone that has NFC capabilities should respond to the ndef record without any app needing to br opend or installed.


With this I’m able to program my NExT to toggle flashlight, and never have to do any setup between phones. It’s quite wonderful

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