iPhone 5 Won’t Feature NFC or “E-Wallet” Payments, Apple Tells Carriers

Despite recent rumors, a report in The Independent today, which cites sources with mobile carriers in the U.K., says that Apple has abandoned plans to debut near-field communications (NFC) technology in its forthcoming iPhone 5. In a meeting with British operators, Apple explained that it was concerned with a lack of clear standard for NFC services across the mobile industry.

It was believed that NFC technology would debut in Apple’s next iPhone to provide users with an “e-wallet” service, enabling them to pay for goods by waving their iPhones over a device at the counter. The Independent report, which dubs NFC as a “wave and pay” service, noted that Apple may instead debut the technology in its iPhone 6, likely to launch in the summer of 2012.

AppleInsider notes that Apple has been looking to hire radio-frequency identification (RFID) experts, and those with experience in mobile payment services, since January of this year. However, a previous job advert suggests Apple has been working on RFID technology in prototype devices since as early as 2009.

NFC technology in the iPhone is certainly something I’m patiently awaiting. The possibility of being able to leave my home with nothing but my iPhone – no wallet, no cash, no credit cards – would be incredibly useful. However, I have to say that I’m yet to see this service in any shop I’ve been into here in the U.K. Unless the majority of U.K. retailers pick the technology up by this summer, an iPhone with NFC capabilities would be practically useless to me.


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