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Apple to introduce Near Field Communication in iPhone 5

Data from next-gen iPhone prototypes has revealed details about NFC technology that could be used with the Passbook app

Data from alleged iPhone 5 prototypes has been investigated, leading to speculation that Apple will implement Near Field Communication controllers directly connected to the Power Management Unit in it's next-generation smartphone.

9to5Mac refers to the previously examined data from iPhone 5,1 and iPhone 5,2 prototypes, codenamed "N41AP (5,1)" and "N42AP (5,2)", which, on further investigation, reveals information about advanced file sharing technology.

Near Field Communication (NFC) could be used in conjunction with Apple's new Passbook app, which will arrive with iOS 6 this autumn. The app will allow users to store all of their tickets for events, travel passes, loyalty cards and more in virtual wallet.

Using NFC with the app, iPhone owners could quickly and easily make payments and transactions. Google and Microsoft have launched similar services, and this would allow Apple to compete with those.

NFC would also be a simpler way for iOS users to transfer files between devices.

SITA's Jim Peters has told retailers to prepare for the impending arrival of NFC. "There is a lot of debate that NFC will never take off because of all the arguments. But you need to get ready, this is coming. This is going to happen."

"By the end of the year the majority of smartphones that you go and buy will have NFC on them. If in October the next iPhone comes out and it has NFC on it, it's game over," Peters concluded.

Apple was granted a patent for NFC in March last year, leading to rumours that suggested the iPhone 4S would use the technology. But, with the launch of the Passbook app, it seems that Apple is more likely to implement the technology in this year's iPhone.

MasterCard's Ed McLaughlin hinted that Apple was beginning to venture down the credit card/payments road earlier this year. "I don't know of a handset manufacturer that isn't in the process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready," McLaughlin told Fast Company.

When asked whether that included Apple, McLaughlin replied: "Um, there are... like I say, [I don't know of] any handset maker out there. Now, when we have discussions with our partners, and they ask us not to disclose them, we don't."


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