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Apple iPhone 7 NFC

Does the Apple iPhone 7 have NFC ?

Yes. This phone normally has NFC functionality.

How do you turn on NFC on the Apple iPhone 7 ?

The NFC function is always on. There's no on/off setting.

Can the iPhone 7 scan NFC Tags ?

Yes, but it requires an App or the latest iOS 14 operating system. Read our how to read NFC tags with an iPhone tutorial or watch our videos :

If you have the latest iOS 14 operating system :

If you have iOS 11, 12 or 13 :


The level of functionality depends on the version of iOS the phone is running. The Apple iPhone 7 needs to be running at least iOS11 to be able to scan NFC tags. Additionally, an App needs to be installed and the App would need to be open to action the scan. With iOS11, there is a limited functionality. The phone can only read tags with an NDEF payload (ie, a web address). It cannot access other parts of the tag memory such as the UID (unique ID) or perform more advanced fucntions.

With the release of iOS13, Apple added additional functionality which included the ability to write to NFC tags, lock NFC tags and access the UID. Additionally, the iPhone 7 can also access other tag data such as the counter.

However, although it has been incorrectly reported by some other NFC websites, the iPhone 7 does not have NFC tag background scanning and an App still needs to be loaded and open to the scan a tag. Background tag scanning is the ability for the phone to respond to a tag without an additional App and without any specific App being open.

Seritag currently understand that this is not likely to change with any future release and is a limitation of the electronics inside the iPhone 7.

With the release of iOS14, Apple also added a built in (native) NFC tag reader which can be accessed from the Control Centre. You no longer need to download an App to read NFC tags. See our youtube video on reading NFC tags with iOS 14.

Not sure what an NFC tag is ? Read our article on What is an NFC Tag.

Can the iPhone 7 write/encode NFC tags ?

Yes, providing the latest iOS 13 operating system is installed. Prior to iOS 13, only NFC tag scanning was possible, not writing. Additionally, with iOS 13, NFC tags can also be locked.

Seritag have put together a quick step by step tutorial on encoding NFC tags with an iPhone. You can also watch our 90 second encoding NFC tags with an iPhone tutorial on youtube.

Which NFC tags can be used with the Apple iPhone 7 ?

The iPhone 7 can read all standard NFC chips including the popular NTAG series and iCode SLIX tags. As with Android, Seritag recommended avoiding the larger memory NTAG216 chips.

The iPhone 7 has a relatively small and focused NFC antenna. As a result, many users have commented that scan performance with some of the smaller NFC tags is not great. Conversely, the use of very large tags (credit card size for example) can result in very poor or failed performance. Seritag recommend the use of standard 20-40mm tags for the most reliable and consistent performance. However, also bear in mind positioning of the tags. Avoid placing too much material and distance between the tag and the user. Try and ensure that the hotspot is clearly indicated so the user can line the iPhone 7 up.

Where is the NFC antenna on the iPhone 7 ?

The NFC antenna on the iPhone 7 is located on the top edge.

image showing location of NFC hotspot on an iphone 7, 8 and 10
iPhone iPhone 7 NFC Hotspot

NFC Tags For The Apple iPhone 7

The table below illustrates the available NFC tags and their compatibility with your phone. As phone specifications can change without notice and also vary from region to region, we strongly advise testing tags before any purchase.

Manufacturer NFC Chip Compatible
NXPNTAG216 (Not Recommended)Yes
NXPMIFARE Ultralight® EV1Yes
STST25TN01K (TN01K)Yes
STST25TN512 (TN512)Yes

Note for iPhone users: The ICODE SLIX and ICODE SLIX2 tags need to have already been encoded (have NDEF data) before some iPhone Apps will be able to encode them. We suggest using the NFC Tools app with these chips for encoding or ask Seritag to encode something onto the tags without locking.

How much memory do I need ?

Depending on what information you need to store on your NFC tags, you will have different memory requirements. NFC Tags have a very limited memory so getting a tag that will store everything you need is important. Seritag have put together some information on how much memory you will need in your NFC Tag.

NFC & QR Code Management
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