FeliCa support: Global or Japan only?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Add-Delay, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Add-Delay macrumors newbie


    Oct 28, 2012
    Adelaide, Australia
    Asking because it wasn't 100% clear in the keynote - is the FeliCa support only in devices sold in Japan, or is it in all iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series models sold worldwide?

    I live in Australia (so would naturally buy my devices here), but travel to Tokyo once a year. So it would be nice to be able to take advantage of having a Suica card on Apple Watch.
  2. kevvyc macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2012
    My guess is that it will only be for devices sold in Japan since the LTE webpage (http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/) lists a completely different model for Japanese carriers:

    iPhone 7
    Model A1779 (CDMA)
    iPhone 7 Plus
    Model A1785 (CDMA)


    But this is just a calculated guess as I don't have any other information, hope that gives you at least one data point.
  3. rctneil macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2013
    I'm also wondering this. Would be excellent to store my Suica card on my UK iPhone for when i'm next in Tokyo!

    Real shame if the technology wasn't in all phones as it would be perfect for travellers.
  4. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    An interesting twist: if you look at the teardowns of the US vs Japan iPhone 7, they have the same NFC chip, which means that technically they all should be FeliCa Type-F NFC ("Suica card") compatible, at least from a hardware perspective. I don't know why Apple is only touting support for the Japan model. Maybe it's because only the Japanese version of Apple Pay will support Suica refills (in Japanese presumably) so they don't want to make it seem universal?
  5. rctneil macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2013
    Hmmm, very interesting. it would be nice to see people worldwide be able to add their cards just incase.
  6. kevvyc macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2012
    Here's a follow up after some digging on the internet:

    One of the most interesting aspects of the iPhone 7 FeliCa/NFC Type-F support is that only iPhones sold in Japan support it. SIM-Free iPhone 7 phones purchased abroad will not support FeliCa, only NFC Type-A and Type-B. If you want to use the FeliCa flavor of Apple Pay, you must purchase iPhone 7 in Japan.

    Source: https://atadistance.net/2016/09/08/the-iphone-for-japan/

    So unfortunately us overseas visitors will be out of luck...
  7. biosci macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2010
    Chicagoland, IL
    Speaking of SIM Free... I'd like to get my hands on one of these unless buying a Sprint/Verizon (even though I'm ATT) device only works in the Apple Store....
  8. rctneil macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2013
    But apparently the NFC chip in all iPhones are the same so in theory it should be able to work surely?
  9. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    I don't know if the hardware in non-Japanese iPhones supports Felica, but even if it does, it is unlikely that Apple will enable it outside of Japan because they'd have to pay license fees to Sony for every iPhone sold.
  10. esanker macrumors newbie

    Feb 29, 2012
    Actually, Apple is still in talk with JR East and the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication to have non-Japanese iPhone 7 be able to use Apple Pay Felica at some point.

  11. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    From what I understand what they are discussing with the ministry is just the requirement to carry the regulatory engravement on the back of the phone. The JR East spokesman alludes to potential support for "inbound" customers, but JR East really has no say in the matter. The article really just speculates.

    I hope I'm wrong since I'd love to be able to use Felica with my US phone, but I doubt it will happen.
  12. xotigu, Sep 25, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016

    xotigu macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2014
    If you look closely in the Tech Spec page of Apple Japan, it did indicate the Felica chip.
    Which other Apple website(other than Japan) didn't include.
    A clear indication that other countries won't be able to use the Felica feature.
    I'm guessing they did embed it on the firmware of the iPhones in Japan OR it is really Felica chip + NFC combo inside the phone.
    Ordered mine on Apple Japan and have it delivered to my friend :)
  13. tatsumi macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2015
    So how about the other way around.
    Can I with a japanese iPhone use credit cards of other countries and also pay in other countries?
    Since Apple just says "included", to me it sounds like an addition. So I would put in my australian master card and also my japanese SMBC card and pay how I want. I wonder
  14. xotigu macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2014
    I assume yes just as long as you change your region to Australia(same too if you have a US card). The drawback is, you won't be able to use Suica/Japanese cards since the region is different. :(
    Who knows, this might change in the future.
  15. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    This just indicates current support, but teardowns for US and Japan iPhone 7 phones indicate they have the same NFC chip (NXP 67V04) so as of right now it seems like there is no hardware limitation for a US iPhone 7 using FeliCa in Japan, just a support/licensing limitation. If there was a small fee charged by Apple to activate FeliCa support for international travelers, I'd certainly pay it.
  16. rctneil macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2013
    Apparently suica support will be enabled via an app released this month by JR. This app should then allow people to add their suica cards to wallet. Who knows if it will work for any users outside of Japan though. We shall see!

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