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Apple iPhone 5 Near Field Communication (NFC) May Not Be Coming After All

The Cupertino-based tech giant Apple still has its mouth shut about its soon-to-be announced iPhone 5 leaving enthusiasts and experts debating on the issue that it will come with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. But basically, every bit of information we know about the next generation iPhone is based on rumors and unconfirmed reports. So far, Apple hasn’t denied or confirmed NFC feature but it is one of the features that stirred tech communities.

Image Credit: Cult of Mac

Recent photos from Macotakara show that NFC will not make it into the new iPhone. The Japanese website went on to showing that the NFC chip, which bridges all the near-field wireless data transfer, will be put somewhere on the front panel of Apple’s most popular smartphone. On the other hand, Anandtech had also issued their report stating that there is a greater possibility NFC feature will not be packed due to the next-generation iPhone’s metal backing.

An NFC chip allows users to make purchases using their mobile phones, turning it into a mobile virtual credit card. This technology is popular in Japan but it has not been as popular in the U.S. The notion that the credit card information can be stored on phones, and can be transferred wirelessly is one of its negative features due to the lack of security. This is the main reason why Americans tend to get nervous in using the said technology.

There had been speculations that Apple would potentially use the iPhone 5 to introduce NFC to their mobile phone line to show technology superiority. The thing is Apple is known not to jump head first into competition that it’s not really familiar with. In fact, earlier last month, the head of Apple’s worldwide marketing Phil Schiller said in a statement that they will not compete to be number one in the mobile payment system. Analysts believe that while mobile payment will grow into a billion-dollar business in the next few years, it is still in its embryo stage.

Apple’s executives reportedly agreed to “go slow” in their approach to the new sector allowing competitors to do research for the company. Google and other tech titans are on a high-speed track to offer NFC payment system, they will also be the first ones to do some testing and suffer from unforeseen problems. Apple will be watching from a distance and if everything is good and ready, it will come with its own system that would offer better service and security to millions of its iTunes account holders.

The rumor was actually intensified when Apple announced at Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) the application that would manage digital payment credentials, the Passbook. Apparently, the app is nowhere near to the functionality of a full-blown NFC payment system but it could be a start.

Google’s Android, on the other hand, had already introduced NFC technology on their phones. Google Wallet is the new feature that allows users to buy items by holding their Android device over a Google Wallet terminal, which is available in some stores and shopping malls. While NFC payment is one of the most convenient ways nowadays, it is still in its earliest stage and no one actually knows what will become of it in the future.

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