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Sorry, No NFC Technology for the Next-Gen iPhone

iPhone 4S

Source: iPhone 4S | Apple

New reports suggest that the Near Field Communication technology is unlikely to land on Apple’s next-generation iPhone. This means that the upcoming mobile phone won’t have the e-wallet functionality yet.

What the Sources Say

Earlier this week, Anand Lal Shimpi and Brian Klug of AnandTech took a closer look and analyzed the recent rumors regarding the expected handset. They concluded that the forthcoming smartphone is unlikely to have NFC capabilities because it comes with a metal backside.

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.

This conclusion was supported by The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple, who gave his succinct “Yep” on the statement.

On the other hand, Apple’s chief rival on the mobile space, Google, has offered an e-wallet system last year. Thus, a number of Android smartphones today feature NFC technology that enables users to use the Google Wallet’s tap-to-pay service.

The Mystery Component

In relation to this, there were recent components claiming to be from Apple’s next-generation iPhone. It showed a “mystery component” that some speculated could be the NFC chip.

The photos came from a Chinese website, Apple.pro, which shows a fully assembled next-generation iPhone’s front assembly. At first glance, the images look similar to those of a semi-assembled front panel that was published earlier this month. However, closer inspection reveals more parts are present, including the purported NFC chip located next to unit’s front-facing camera.

However, AnandTech concluded that the component is more likely to be a touch-and-display controller that would power the company’s rumored in-cell touchscreen.

Passbook on iOS 6: The Root of It All

Speculations that Apple could add NFC technology on its next-generation iPhone gained traction earlier this year, after the “Passbook” application for iOS 6 was unveiled. The app will have the user’s personal items such as airplane boarding passes, store discount cards, and tickets to sporting events.

If paired with NFC technology, this could dominate digital wallet and e-ticketing services, as pointed out by SITA chief technology officer Jim Peters.

They are going to get people using it [the Passbook application] and then all of a sudden they will allow credit cards to be used in there, on the next iPhone, which will include NFC.

However, whether NFC will become available on the next-generation iPhone or not remains to be seen.

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