Does iPhone 6/6 Plus use NFC specific nano-sim card?

Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 27, 2010
850
71
It looks like replacing the nano-sim cards between iPhone 5 and iPhone 6+ triggers a text message from AT&T that the current sim card doesn't provide all the functionality for the device. I'm wondering if there is a "special" nano-sim card that is made for the new iPhones that support NFC (Apple Pay basically)?
 

Gxray

macrumors member
Apr 14, 2009
65
5
Yes there is, and it's not just for Apple Pay. Android phones that want to use Softcard's (formerly Isis Wallet) NFC require a special sim card as well.
 

Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 27, 2010
850
71
Yes there is, and it's not just for Apple Pay. Android phones that want to use Softcard's (formerly Isis Wallet) NFC require a special sim card as well.
Do you think it's possible to receive the sim card on spot from AT&T store?
 

dubnde

macrumors regular
Mar 21, 2009
164
11
UK
ApplePay uses a Secure Element(SE) and not traditional sim. The SE is basically embedded/wired in the phone already and it can provisioned via the carrier as/when required.
 

Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 27, 2010
850
71
Just to clarify that what was stated at this thread isn't accurate.
I just got a nano-sim card from AT&T and plugged it in my T-Mobile iP6+. I asked if the nano-sim cards are different and he said they aren't but additional features should be enabled on AT&T side when the sim is inserted in iPhone 6 or plus. Then I asked what features, so he said basically NFC/Apple pay and some other minor things. So overall it's not like Android that has specific NFC sim card - with Apple it's done on the carrier side.
 

Tokenfreak

macrumors 6502
Oct 31, 2011
487
245
So if we use are old sim from our iPhone 5s apple pay will now work since that sim doesn't support NFC?
 

Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 27, 2010
850
71
So if we use are old sim from our iPhone 5s apple pay will now work since that sim doesn't support NFC?
The sim has nothing to do with NFC. The NFC feature is enabled per sim and IMEI of the device, so the 5S sim would work, but you'll need to call/go to AT&T or whatever your carrier and activate these features.
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
5,200
5,241
San Jose, CA
I just got a nano-sim card from AT&T and plugged it in my T-Mobile iP6+. I asked if the nano-sim cards are different and he said they aren't but additional features should be enabled on AT&T side when the sim is inserted in iPhone 6 or plus. Then I asked what features, so he said basically NFC/Apple pay and some other minor things. So overall it's not like Android that has specific NFC sim card - with Apple it's done on the carrier side.
Who's "he"? What you were told is wrong. Apple Pay is entirely independent from the carrier.
 

JOSE891

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2012
601
2
Las Vegas
Who's "he"? What you were told is wrong. Apple Pay is entirely independent from the carrier.
I know, I'm not sure where people are getting all these assumptions. In the keynote they said the Secure Element is built in the phone, similarly to TouchID. I even asked someone at Apple Care and they confirmed this.
 

Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 27, 2010
850
71
Who's "he"? What you were told is wrong. Apple Pay is entirely independent from the carrier.
"He" are actually several people from 2 branches and via chat. The NFC sensor is indeed in the device but it also has some sort of connection to your nano sim via carrier settings.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,937
2,571
St. Louis, MO
If anything the old SIM isn't provisioned for VoLTE when it becomes available, hence the warning from AT&T. The SIM has nothing to do with NFC. There's probably no technical reason Apple Pay wouldn't work without a SIM card if the phone is on WiFi, if a data connection is needed at all for it.
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
5,200
5,241
San Jose, CA
"He" are actually several people from 2 branches and via chat. The NFC sensor is indeed in the device but it also has some sort of connection to your nano sim via carrier settings.
I can assure you it doesn't (much to the chagrin of the carriers, who were trying to establish their own SIM-based NFC payment system).
 

dubnde

macrumors regular
Mar 21, 2009
164
11
UK
There are at least two ways to implement nfc payment system - one on the sim and another on the secure element. It is possible for carriers to distribute nfc enabled sims for other nfc use cases and in different handsets. On iPhone 6 however, apple uses secure element. Later incarnations of iPhone or iOS stack may enable using payment on sim
 

dmccloud

macrumors 65816
Sep 7, 2009
1,166
107
Anchorage, AK
The SIM card in my 5s was identical to the SIM that came with my 6+, and I got no such error when swapping SIM cards. Since NFC is baked into the Secure Element, the type of SIM card used should have no bearing on functionality.
 

ShortArc

macrumors member
Jan 27, 2009
39
1
Just came form the AT&T store and got a new NFC compatible Sim for my unlocked T-Mobile IP6. Took 10mins, free of charge.
 

lenard

macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2007
528
322
Raleigh NC
It looks like replacing the nano-sim cards between iPhone 5 and iPhone 6+ triggers a text message from AT&T that the current sim card doesn't provide all the functionality for the device. I'm wondering if there is a "special" nano-sim card that is made for the new iPhones that support NFC (Apple Pay basically)?
The tech specs for the iPhone 6 specifically states that only the sim supplied
With the phone is compatible with it. In the long or short run any other sim from an older phone will fail on some feature or function.
 

ShortArc

macrumors member
Jan 27, 2009
39
1
My older Sim card which migrated from unlocked iPhone to iPhone worked fine with the iP6 but is not compatible with NFC (Android phones included). I needed to upgrade to gain that functionality. I was told it had to do with carrier encryption not NFC encryption which is iP6 chip based.
 

Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 27, 2010
850
71
The tech specs for the iPhone 6 specifically states that only the sim supplied
With the phone is compatible with it. In the long or short run any other sim from an older phone will fail on some feature or function.
I received a regular nano-sim in store, and I don't have any issues. The employee put my IMEI in his computer and associated that with the nano-sim card. When I asked if there is any difference between iPhone 5/5S and 6/6+ nano-sim cards he said no, it's just a system update that's all the difference. After he activated the sim for me, I haven't received any text messages from ATT that my sim isn't compatible.
 

mrjoeyjiffy

macrumors member
Jun 19, 2009
92
30
Ive worked at verizon and ATT and I can tell you NFC secure sim cards are indeed different, dont believe me? Try to put a regular sim in an android phone and try to fire up ISIS(now softcard lol) and see what it says.
 

Stein357

macrumors 6502
Jun 18, 2010
379
2
Rip City
NFC is built into the phone, thus the phone doesn't require a specific SIM, but there is a newer standard SIM card for AT&T that will support new network features, such as VoLTE, etc. Customers that have moved their SIM from a previous phone will get a text message saying they need a newer one.
 

mrjoeyjiffy

macrumors member
Jun 19, 2009
92
30
NFC is built into the phone, thus the phone doesn't require a specific SIM, but there is a newer standard SIM card for AT&T that will support new network features, such as VoLTE, etc. Customers that have moved their SIM from a previous phone will get a text message saying they need a newer one.
I haven't done tons of research on how apple does it so I could be totally wrong in my post before this, but I'm 100% sure on androids the NFC payments app will kick you out without a secure sim. And on those phones the other NFC features work fine without a specific sim sooooo.... I dunno
 

Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 27, 2010
850
71
I haven't done tons of research on how apple does it so I could be totally wrong in my post before this, but I'm 100% sure on androids the NFC payments app will kick you out without a secure sim. And on those phones the other NFC features work fine without a specific sim sooooo.... I dunno
Yes, this is indeed the case with Android but not with Apple.
 

Arndroid

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2013
899
449
I haven't done tons of research on how apple does it so I could be totally wrong in my post before this, but I'm 100% sure on androids the NFC payments app will kick you out without a secure sim. And on those phones the other NFC features work fine without a specific sim sooooo.... I dunno
Apple pay has nothing to do with any carriers and does not need any special SIM cards.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
To hopefully clear things up a bit:

NFC payments (not NFC itself) usually need a Secure Element. The SE is where the payment apps and data reside.

Often the SE was built into a SIM and was controlled by the carriers. People often refer to these as NFC SIMs. (Although really, they're SE SIMs. There are also NFC SIMs that include a controller and antenna.)

To use the carriers' Softcard (Isis) wallet, you need an NFC SIM.

--

The original 2011 Google Wallet used an embedded SE that Samsung and others included in their phones. However, since most of the US carriers wanted to push Isis, they kept throwing up roadblocks (Sprint was the exception), such as ordering the manufacturers of subsidized phones to disabled their embedded SEs. This impeded the adoption of Google's wallet.

Last Spring, Google finally leapfrogged around this blockade by basically implementing their own SE in the cloud solution for phones with KitKat or above. Thus Google Wallet no longer needs or uses an embedded or SIM SE.

--

Outside the US, both embedded SEs and SEs in NFC SIMs were used for other payment / wallet apps.

--

Apple, like Samsung years before it, chose to include an embedded SE. However, perhaps aided by making direct deals to include SE payment apps from the credit card brands, they're apparently able to control their own SE.

Isis still normally needs an NFC SIM to work, but they're supposedly in talks with Apple, possibly to share the iPhone's onboard SE.
 
Last edited:

petey2133

macrumors regular
Dec 20, 2012
109
2
The sim has nothing to do with NFC. The NFC feature is enabled per sim and IMEI of the device, so the 5S sim would work, but you'll need to call/go to AT&T or whatever your carrier and activate these features.

Stop giving wrong information. You cannot make a non nfc authenticated sim work in an iPhone 6. It's a security measure built into the sim.
 
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