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A mere three weeks after WWDC, details of the rumored iPhone 5 have already begun to unravel. Early this morning, 9to5Mac reported on the heavily rumored iPhone and Near Field Communication (NFC) hardware combination. Seth Weintraub reports that not only will the iPhone 5 have a bigger display but that it will also include an NFC chip, which has become a popular staple in the Android sphere.
Apple has been a part of the NFC rumor mill for a while now, with the New York Times reporting that the next iPhone will have native integration. Apple has also obtained a patent for something described as “iWallet.” To date, no such thing has surfaced, though Apple recently announced its Passbook app at the WWDC keynote, which will allow users to use their iPhone or iPod touch to check in for flights or redeem a coupon.
Jim Peters, CTO of SITA, also believes that NFC chip will find its way into the iPhone, and that retailers should prepare by getting the necessary technology for their end. "Apple just thinks about how they can make it really easy for the user, and then they figure out how to monetise it. They don’t think about how to monetise it and then tell the user what they can have. It doesn’t work like that," Peters told Computerworld. "There aren’t any transactions in it yet, but I think that’s how Apple is going to sneak up on the industry. They are going to get people used to using it and then all of a sudden they will allow credit cards to be used in there, on the next iPhone, which will include NFC." Peters added that it’s a no-brainer because of all the handsets out there that have already incorporated it. "By the end of the year, the majority of smartphones that you go and buy will have NFC on them. If in October the next iPhone comes out and it has NFC on it, it’s game over."
And Peters is spot on. With Apple’s Passbook expected to directly compete with both Google Wallet and the recently announced Wallet service from Microsoft, it’s probable that if and when NFC comes into the mix, it will be the perfect one-two punch to competing mobile services. Here’s to hoping this rumor becomes a reality.
Follow this article's author Daniel Turk