For the last few months, it’s been rumored that Apple would feature NFC technology in their upcoming iPhone 5, which would make it possible to create e-wallet technology. AnandTech reports that this rumor is most likely false.
They claim that the sixth generation smartphone is expected to have a mostly metal backside, and that means that the NFC chip is unlikely to fit, especially given the top part’s minimal space and glass bottom. The conclusion was echoed in a post by The Loop’s Jim Dalyrimple.
AnandTech also stated, “NFC operates on the 13.56MHz ISM band, which has a relatively large wavelength, at 22.1 m. Making a traditional dipole antenna that radiates at all, given the constraints of a smartphone package, is thus a big challenge, considering that smartphones are maybe 5-inches tall at maximum, to say nothing of the supposed upcoming iPhone’s longest linear dimension.”
It’s been rumored for years that Apple would eventually add near-field communication chips to their phones. When Apple officially unveiled their iOS 6 system and PassBook application, rumors regarding NFC went into overdrive.
Google has been offering their e-wallet solution for about a year now, and some of their phones use “tap-to-pay” service.
Yesterday, we shared a story about a “mystery component” in the purported image of the iPhone 5, which may have been an NFC chip. This image could have been a fake or the component could have been something completely different.
So what does this mean, especially since Passbook has been confirmed by Apple? It probably means that Apple has another equally capable technology in play, which could be anything from Bluetooth LE to QR code based payment token.
We’re getting closer to the big day, when Apple officially launches their sixth generation iPhone. Although some of the big rumors may prove to be true, I bet Apple has a lot more surprises in store than we expect.