Anand Shimpi has been rounding up the rumors with regards to the next iPhone, and yesterday concluded the likelihood of Apple implementing NFC into its smartphone was decidedly slim. Now, Jim Dalrymple has corroborated that notion, with the famous Cupertino insider chipping in with his familiar "yep" quip.
Up until this week, NFC was almost presumed as a certainty with the upcoming iPhone – dubbed the "iPhone 5". As well as the fact most other top-end smartphones have included NFC for well over a year, trusted outlets such as the New York Times have also said the sixth-gen device would offer Near-Field Communication.
After Apple revealed the iOS 6 feature Passbook WWDC’12, the prospect of NFC was as done a deal as could be, but it only takes one bit of intuitive thinking to throw proceedings in a completely different direction.
Shimpi, who runs AnandTech, suggested that due to the predominantly metal backplate of the next iPhone, it’s very unlikely it would include NFC. Whilst he stopped short of completely negating the idea, he added that since there’ll be "very little space at top and bottom dedicated to those glass RF windows," it’s something that can be all-but ruled out.
Dalrymple has indirectly echoed Shimpi’s sentiments, responding to an iPhone parts leak which unveiled a mystery chip thought to be carrying NFC. Incidentally, PatentlyApple has stumbled upon more Apple iPhone NFC patents, depicting an NFC reader at the summit of the device, so it’s not as if Tim Cook’s company hasn’t been toying with the idea.
To me, the news draws mixed feelings. Apple is making a habit of leaving hardware out through generations, and it is certainly becoming a tired prose. Yes, LTE will still be a feature of the next iPhone, but how much longer has it taken to finally reach the flagship device?
There will no doubt be justified questions raised about the need for NFC at this point, a strong question mark which will likely serve as Apple’s reprieve. While it’s frustrating to see technologies arrive a year or two later than from other vendors, NFC isn’t yet a widely-utilized commodity, and the amount of work Apple would need to implement it simply doesn’t level with the state of the market right now.
Is Apple wise for leaving NFC for another year? Share your thoughts via the usual mediums below.