Apple has been slowly, but surely adding new technology to their tablets and phones, even though the rest of the competition has gone way past their hardware specifications today. This hasn’t fazed them one bit as their philosophy is only do it if you can do it right and it has worked for them brilliantly. The latest rumour for their next iPhone is that it will finally have NFC built-in. 9to5Mac’s investigation into a prototype phone that Apple has been testing leads them to believe that the next iPhone will have Near Field Communication (NFC) controllers built into the Power Management Unit. 

During WWDC, Apple showed off PassBook, one of the new features in iOS 6 that allows users to use their phone as a wallet and pay for goods and services. Now, one of the simplest ways of achieving this is through NFC, which makes it similar to Google’s Wallet and Microsoft’s newly announced ‘Wallet’ app, which serves the same purpose. Jim Peters, CTO of SITA, firmly believes that the next iPhone will have NFC, “Opinion is that Apple is going to incorporate NFC into Passbook. 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. There is a lot of debate that NFC will never take off because of all the arguments. But you need to get ready, this is coming. This is going to happen. 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.

NFC onboard?

NFC onboard?

We’ve been hearing rumours about this, since way back in January, but after the announcement of iOS 6, it’s almost certain. Ed McLaughlin, Head of Emerging Payments at MasterCard, told Fast Company earlier this year that Apple would be entering the credit card/payment market. “The timeline is always as rapid as it makes sense for consumers,” he said. “That’s a combination of having a critical mass of the merchants, which is what you’re seeing right now, and getting devices into the hands of consumers. I don’t know of a handset manufacturer that isn’t in process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready.

Apple never introduces a new feature for the sake of introducing it, they will only add it if there is an infrastructure ready to support it, so if the iPhone 5 will indeed have NFC, you can expect mobile payments to really take off in a few months time.

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