Report: New iPhone Prototypes Have NFC Chips and Antenna

Report: New iPhone Prototypes Have NFC Chips and Antenna

A report today says that hardware code dumps from iPhone 5,1 and iPhone 5,2 prototypes would lead researchers to believe that those iPhones have Near Field Communication (NFC) controllers directly connected to the power management unit (PMU).


The implications here are obviously monstrous.  With the recently announced PassBook application (which we detailed prior to its announcement while speculating about an NFC tie-in), Apple will be set to compete with Google Wallet and the similar service Microsoft unveiled last week. Apple could tie in with a payment processor like Citibank’s PayPass system for credit card transactions or it could become a payment processor of sorts with its hundreds of millions of credit cards already on file at iTunes.

NFC could also allow iPhone users a quick and easy way to share files and information from one iOS device to another.

Jim Peters, CTO of SITA, says that NFC is coming to iPhone and retailers should prepare for it.

“Opinion is that Apple is going to incorporate NFC into Passbook. Apple just thinks about how they can make it really easy for the user, and then they figure out how to monetize it. They don’t think about how to monetize it and then tell the user what they can have. It doesn’t work like that,” said Peters.

Ed McLaughlin, head of emerging payments at MasterCard, in an interview with Fast Company earlier this year, seemed to indicate Apple was entering the Credit card/payments market as well:

“The timeline is always as rapid as it makes sense for consumers,” he says. “That’s a combination of having a critical mass of the merchants, which is what you’re seeing right now, and getting devices into the hands of consumers. I don’t know of a handset manufacturer that isn’t in process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready.”