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iPhone 5 leaves out NFC - will this kill wireless mobile payments?

Andrew Williams


iPhone 5 leaves out NFC - will this kill wireless mobile payments?

Apple has revealed all the details on the iPhone 5. It has a larger screen than the iPhone 4S, it has a slightly improved camera and it has a faster processor. However, it doesn't have NFC, Near-Field Communication.

Check out our iPhone 5 round-up

There's hasn't been time to quiz Apple on its decision not to include NFC in the iPhone 5, but it won't have been left out because its designers simply didn't think of it - this is a carefully-made decision. The one connectivity choice that is rather out of the norm is 4G. The iPhone 5 is among will be among the first UK phones to offer 4G connectivity, through EE.

The iPhone 5 leaving out NFC in itself isn't a massive deal, but this will undoubtedly hamper the spread of the technology throughout the high street. NFC will let you buy small items such as cups of coffee, cheap items of clothing and other little low-cost bits and bobs.

It’s a technology that's at the tipping point between becoming mainstream and getting lost as a geeky curio of days gone by. The iPhone 5 could have pushed NFC over the edge into public consciousness, but is the technology now doomed?

Wireless technologies that do feature in the new iPhone include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HSPA and 4G.

Let us know what you think about the iPhone 5's dismissal of NFC in the comments.

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September 13, 2012, 3:43 am

The days are long gone when Apple could make or break something like this. The iPhone still has a lot of mind-share but doesn't have the market share any longer.


September 13, 2012, 11:43 am

Will it kill NFC? No - there's been too much investment from major banks and other interested parties at this point.
Will it slow down NFC acceptance and widespread adoption? Probably.

Apple are just one player in the game, albeit a major one. I expect they will introduce NFC payments in the next revision, putting their own unique polish into it (and possibly taking a percentage in the process).

Personally I'm disappointed that they didn't as it would have sped up the path to NFC payments for those of us based outside the US who have been waiting to use it for some time.

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