An article today by The Independent (a UK publication) has suggested that the previously rumored inclusion of Near Field Communication technology in the iPhone and iPad will not be coming this year. The technology is perceived to become a new way for consumers to pay for goods and services and it was hoped by many in the retail industry that Apple could set the standard by adding the technology to the iPhone.
It appears however, according to several sources in UK mobile operators, that Apple had decided against the inclusion of NFC technology in the next version of the iPhone. One source told The Independent “The new iPhone will not have NFC, Apple told the operators it was concerned by the lack of a clear standard across the industry.”
It was previously suspected that Apple would implement the NFC payment system with its iTunes database of accounts, which as Steve Jobs mentioned in the iPad 2 announcement keynote, is probably the largest online database of credit-cards with 200 million associated with an iTunes account. It was presumed that this would give Apple a firm starting point and advantage as well as rake in Apple a share of the $6.2 trillion Americans spend on goods and services.
Nokia and more recently Eric Schmidt of Google have said that the technology will “revolutionize payments” and Google’s Nexus S handset does indeed implement NFC but there is currently no standout payment provider that uses the Nexus’ NFC technology for payments and it is barely supported at all in the retail sector at the moment. However analysts including Frost and Sullivan believe NFC will become an integral solution for payments within a few years and hitting €110bn by 2015 in payment values.