We’ve know for some time that Apple has a concept which aims to turn your iPhone into a virtual wallet – as well as your camera, gaming device, web device and phone! Near Field Communications (NFC) components have been expected to make an appearance in the iPhone 5 for some time. NFC is a method for data exchange between our devices and payment terminals which allows us to carry a digital cash balance on our phones wherever we go, and use them for paying for goods and services.
Apple is also well known to be aiming to introduce a mobile payment system, perhaps linked to MobileMe account this year.
Cnet are reporting today that a source of theirs has told them that both the iPad 2 and the iPhone 5 will sport NFC chips. The iPhone 5 feature is pretty much expected by most of us, but sticking it in the iPad 2 would be a surprise. It would also perhaps give Apple that extra killer feature to “wow” us with and detract from the disappointment that will inevitably be felt by some if a super high resolution “Retina” display, or dual core CPU don’t make an appearance in the third gen iPad.
Although we are a little sceptical as to who would carry their iPad 2 around with them as a convenient payment method – seeing as they are just a little too large to fit in your pocket, or your wallet!
Having said that we did report some time ago that Apple plans to introduce a feature in OS X and iOS which allows iDevices to become “virtual keys” which can communicate with desktop Macintosh computers and allow you to take them over temporarily with all your usual settings in a customised user space, as well as core files you want to work on while on the move. Perhaps the NFC components in future iOS devices and refreshed Macintosh computers will be part of this feature? Or allow transfer of data between iOS devices – although we already have Bluetooth and Wifi for that, so why yet another standard?
Do you expect NFC in the upcoming iPad 2, or in the iPhone 5 only? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…