While teardowns of Apple’s new iPad Air 2 revealed an NFC chip similar to the one found in the company’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets, sources reveal that the chip is only being used as a Secure Element for Apple Pay in-app purchases.
Following a teardown of the iPad Air 2 revealing an NFC module similar to that present in the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, some speculated Apple could have future plans for the component that wasn’t officially announced as included in the new tablet. Some theorized that the NFC chip might be capable of allowing the new iPads to act as NFC-based terminals for receiving Apple Pay payments, for example.
Apple describes the Secure Element on its website, which, according to 9to5Mac’s source, is used to securely store account numbers associated with credit cards for Apple Pay on both the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.
The iPad Air 2 lacks the NFC antenna found in the new iPhones, and thus wouldn’t be usable for making contactless Apple Pay payments at NFC terminals like the iPhones. iLounge also makes a good point when they point out that the company didn’t seek FCC certification for NFC functionality for iPad Air 2, which would have been a requirement for wireless communications.