By Josh Rosenthall:
Apple’s next iPhone release will not come with built-in NFC functionality according to a new report from Bernstein Research.
NFC (Near Field Communications) is a technology that would enable the iPhone to act as a virtual wallet. With an embedded chip hooked up to a user’s credit card account, or to iTunes potentially, a user could make payments for goods and services simply by waving his/her device over a payment pad. Indeed, over the past few months, there have been an increasing number of reports pointing towards Apple’s increased interest in the technology.
These reports have involved everything from Apple patent filings about RFID technology to actual hires of NFC experts. Even mobile carriers have intimated that NFC will be coming to the iPhone 5 in 2012. But as recently as this March came news that Apple had scrapped plans for NFC in the iPhone 5.
One source close to the discussions said: “The new iPhone will not have NFC, Apple told the operators it was concerned by the lack of a clear standard across the industry.” Yet Apple is understood to be working on its own NFC proposition, which would link payments through iTunes. It hopes to introduce the technology in a handset likely to be released next year.
One thing is clear – Apple is currently working on NFC enabled iPhones as prototypes have been seen on Apple’s campus. When Apple will release the technology to the masses, however, is unclear. The next iPhone will either be called the iPhone 4S or the iPhone 5. But either way, don’t expect NFC to make its way into the next iPhone iteration. The one after that, though, is a good bet.
If this plays out, expect the iPhone 6 to come with NFC technology. Of course, if the next iPhone release will be called the iPhone 4S as has also been rumored, then maybe the iPhone 5 will actually have NFC built-in. Yes yes, it’s all semantics. The bottom line is that we shouldn’t expect NFC to appear in the next iPhone, whatever it’s called.