Hardware code pulled out of a prototype iPhone 5 device suggests the next-gen Apple phone will feature NFC support – virtually guaranteed to make companies take the technology a lot more seriously.
NFC stands for Near-Field Communication, and is the wireless communication tech pipped to become the mobile payments standard. 9to5Mac writes that it will feature in the next iPhone, rumoured for a launch this September. Used in tandem with the recently-revealed PassBook app, a store card management app introduced alongside iOS 6, Apple may be planning a fully mobile payments solution for its next phone.
No iPhone to date has featured an NFC chip, even though at the time of the iPhone 4S release, other top-end phones were starting to use the technology.
Paying for things isn’t the only possible use for NFC, however. It can also be used to transfer files over distances of up to 20cm. Its data transfer rate is quite slow at around 400kbit/sec, but this would be quick enough for small bits of data, such as contact information.