For a while now it has been speculated that that the next-generation iPhone will incorporate near field communication (NFC) technology. This is the same technology that enables the touchless payment experiences at retail outlets. This speculation was heightened when Apple announced Passbook, an application for sorting all of your digital payment credentials and amounts, as a feature of iOS 6 at this year’s WWDC.
Macotakara recently posted photos of an assembled front panel wherein they went so far as to highlight an area of the component where they believed that at least some of the NFC technology is located. AnandTech has issued their own report and claims this cannot be NFC due to the next-generation iPhone’s metal backing. There is also little space at either end of the device that isn’t covered with metal, so it’s almost a certainty that NFC will not make it into the new iPhone expected to be announced next month.
Further backing up AnandTech’s claim that there will be no NFC tech in the new iPhone, The Loop’s ever-well-connected Jim Dalrymple chimes in with a simple “Yep”.
Personally, I wondered if this technology would make it into the new iPhone, especially considering that Apple will likely be putting 4G LTE in the device. I’m no hardware engineer, but I would wager that you can only add so many new technologies to a device without needing a bigger battery. That is, until the technologies become more energy efficient.
Besides, the infrastructure isn’t in place either. I have yet to walk into a retailer that offers an NFC payment system. Passbook is undoubtedly the first step in this mobile wallet direction, but NFC is lagging a ways behind at the moment.