Apple’s sixth-generation iPhone to be released later this year may feature Near Field Communication (NFC) – technology which allows the user to pay for goods and services with a simple swipe past a payment terminal.
While the rumors pertaining to NFC inclusion have been doing the rounds for quite some time now, a series of coding pulled from apparent prototype testing seems to confirm that the current models undergoing evaluation are indeed fitted with the appropriate NFC chips and antenna arrays.
If accurate, this would confirm that Apple does indeed intend to play catch-up in terms of following a number of high-end Android rivals, which already offer NFC. At the same time, it is expected that the iPhone 5 will debut with Apple’s new Passbook feature, which will allow users to store digital copies of tickets, receipts, bills, boarding passes and countless other financial documents.
Passbook as an app in its own right is not dependent on NFC – its primary functions is as something of a backup database for important documents. However, combined with the NFC technology the iPhone 5 is expected to carry, the feature could indeed become one of the crowning glories of the Smartphone.
The debate as to the true benefit, value and safety of NFC technology rages on even to this day, with thousands of analysts planted firmly on both sides of the fence.
However, what all share across the board is the consensus that NFC is indeed coming and will become standard across all Smartphones in the near future. As such, were the iPhone 5 not to feature NFC upon its release in October, it would come as a huge blow and see Apple fall disastrously behind its Android rivals.
The primary draw of NFC remains the ability to transform its parent device into something of a mobile wallet – a feature that can store the details of any and all credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards and so on. Payments are made simply by swiping the device past the appropriate terminal, while password or perhaps even fingerprint requests offer security.
Rumors of Apple’s interest in NFC stretch back to before the iPhone 4S was even off the drawing board.
The only problem at present is that NFC has proved to be rather slow-moving and has certainly not garnered the kind of attention developers expected. As such, it could be down to Apple to bring about the NFC revolution as so many had expected it to materialize, when the iPhone 5 comes along later this fall.