What Apple's Namedrop feature means for the NFC market

What Apple's Namedrop feature means for the NFC market

On Monday June 5th, 2023 Apple released a plethora of new features to be released in the upcoming iOS17 software release. Among the features is a new way to exchange contact information with others quickly using airdrop, they are calling it Namedrop.  

To briefly explain, you will be able to choose what is shared with someone within your own native contact card, like your phone number or email for example.  You will then open airdrop, hold to another iPhone which automatically exchanges each others contact card. No app needed. This technology seems really cool and will certainly change the way we share information. 

You may be wondering, how does that affect all of the NFC card companies that popped up recently? Is this the end for NFC cards and tags?

Tap Tag has been around since 2020, and back then there were roughly 2 competitors. Now, there are 50+ competitors with new ones popping up every month. The market is becoming saturated with NFC companies trying capture market share. 

So what does the iOS 17 update mean for all of these NFC providers? Well, it's bad news for some, but not for Tap Tag. 

Tap Tag started with just one item, our branded sticky tag, we realized real quick that customers wanted more. Over time we added more colors, then more items, then customization, then software, and so on. Over the years we have become a giant provider with 35+ on-demand custom products with advanced proprietary software.

I bring this up because this type of success takes time, trial and error, customer feedback, and innovation. We had 4 years to adapt and innovate, unfortunately for the smaller companies they have not had much time. Most of them offer 2-3 products at most, they have not figured out customization, and their software is newer and/or underdeveloped. iO17 will certainly make a dent to all of us, Tap Tag can take the hit for reasons I will explain shortly, but it is likely the smaller pop-up companies that started this year will suffer the most. It is also safe to say that Namedrop will slow down any more companies trying to enter the NFC market. 

Why won't iOS 17 hurt Tap Tag to the same degree as other NFC companies? 

1) We offer far more than just contact sharing. Yes, that is one of our core foundations but we are far ahead of Apple Namedrop in this field. Our products work with both Apple and Android, while apples share feature will work only with other iPhones. If you were at a convention relying on Namedrop you will be eliminating 40% of the population which are Android users. 

2) We offer customization. Your brand is important especially when it comes to business. A personalized Metal NFC card with your name and logo, with a digital profile customized to your brand represents power and status, while pulling out your iPhone with a generic contact card that everyone has may seem like the cheap way of sharing info. Additionally, if you are a company you could not expect all of your employees to have an iPhone or require them to share info using their personal iPhone. Getting NFC cards for all would be better outcome when expecting employees to share information with the masses. 

3) We offer Team Management Software. You can manage employee profiles from an easy company dashboard, set themes, see analytics, and more. This gives corporations full control of their employees information and how they are sharing it. We also will soon offer CRM integrations which allows for auto-contact creation and sales leads with your company CRM dashboard. Apple airdrop simply cannot do any of this. Namedrop just shares a self-managed personal contact card form a personal iPhone. 

4) We offer QR codes, various NFC items, and other convenient ways to share your profile. For example, you are at a convention with 5 others teammates. It would be easiest to have a central NFC sign on your table that all of you can direct clients to scan with a convenient QR code and Tap abilities. You can also have the same QR/tap profile saved onto all of your NFC cards, print your profile QR onto the back of your t-shirts, add the QR to print media, save your profile link to your email signature and more. All of your profiles can be edited remotely online in realtime. Your table sign can share your info while you're in the bathroom, or away from your table. Namedrop depends on you to be present with your iPhone to work.

5) People need to have options when sharing/capturing data. Apples contact-airdrop has one major flaw, both of you have to consent to exchanging your contact. If you are a sales guy it is easy to ask a customer to save your contact, but that customer may be weary about sharing their info with you. On our Tap Tag profiles the customer has the option to just save your contact, share their own, or both. While apples feature will not work unless both consent to the exchange. The last thing you want is an awkward transaction with a customer who does not want to share their information but is willing to take yours. 

6) iOS 17 may drastically improve Apple scan capabilities. Apple phones have always been a little spotty when scanning NFC, it is because their scanner is very small compared to android so therefor it takes precision to get a good read. Now that Apple seems to be adding more NFC features they may focus on improving the scanability in their phones. This is great for us and all of our past customers. Adding an additional level of reliability to NFC would do wonders for the NFC world. 

7) Competition. As previously mentioned we will all take a hit from this Apple update. Unfortunately this update will put a lot of other NFC companies out of business, or at least force them to focus on non-NFC ventures. This update will also likely caution new competitors from entering the market. We might feel the hit at first but down the road the industry may prove to be more fruitful if a percentage of the smaller companies cannot survive. 


In conclusion, Apple will disrupt yet another market with their new iPhone features and updates. Luckily augmented reality companies were the target of Apple this time around, they will take the biggest hit. 

Apple's airpdrop feature is a small update that took up less than 30 seconds of the whole 2.5-hour event. At the end of the day it is about those that can adapt the quickest, and Tap Tag has the technology, resources, and experience to come out on top. 


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