Why the iPhone 5 won’t be equipped with NFC

Tue, Aug 28, 2012

News, Rumors

Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about the iPhone 5 came scattered reports that Apple’s next-gen smartphone would be equipped with NFC chips. Indeed, rumors of Apple’s interest in NFC date back quite a while and Apple has made a number of NFC related hires and patent filings in this regard as well.

But as exciting as the prospect of using your iPhone to make payments is, you might have to wait for the iPhone 6.

After analyzing photos of leaked iPhone 5 casings, AnandTech explains why NFC is not probably for the iPhone 5.

Given the primarily metal backside of the new iPhone, it’s highly unlikely that NFC is in the cards for this generation. In fact, given the very little space at top and bottom dedicated to those glass RF windows, you can almost entirely rule it out.

NFC operates on the 13.56MHz ISM band, which has a relatively large wavelength, at 22.1 m. Making a traditional dipole antenna that radiates at all given the constraints of a smartphone package is thus a big challenge, considering that smartphones are maybe 5-inches tall at maximum, to say nothing of the supposed upcoming iPhone’s longest linear dimension.

Further, the well-connected Jim Darlymple – who if we’re not mistaken hasn’t been wrong about an Apple rumor yet! – references AnandTech’s report with a simple “Yep.”

So sorry NFC enthusiasts, the wait continues.



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