Will Apple’s next iPhone have NFCRumor
Posted by Seth PlanckMay 24th, 2011 at 2:50 AM Filed Under Rumor
If you look inside Apple’s core you will find it is seeding [codename] iTravel. Does this give us clues to whether the impending iPhone launch will include NFC?
Rumors of Apple’s iTravel app have circulated since late last year with an extraordinary amount of patent details surfacing that fueled the whispers in the rumor mill. Yet at the same time, a debate has arisen doubting that Apple will include NFC in its upcoming iPhone from “many sources close to the subject”.
“Bernstein analysts claim that the next iPhone will not have mobile payment support via NFC. From Business Insider: Apple’s next iPhone, said to be called the 4S, will not have the mobile payment support through NFC (near field communication) says Bernstein in a note this morning.”
With competition rising fast in the NFC mobile wallet world, this raises the question of whether Apple can afford not to support NFC in its upcoming iPhone. If an apple is not picked from a tree early enough it spoils, and although Apple rumors suggest any NFC feature will be absent from its next iPhone it is unclear whether the company will sit back and allow its arch-enemy, Google, dominate the space for six months to a year before it enters the market. Here are a couple of reasons Apple may include NFC:
In the patent images we can clearly see the NFC Forum “N” Mark displayed in the top left corner which if nothing else shows us that Apple’s mind is on NFC. Although Apple applies for hundreds of patents, many of which never make it to production, the breadth and detail of this patent application and the fact it has already been circulating for six months suggest that Apple could already have developed this application. We have also already seen updates that suggest specific patents and capabilities focused on cruises is in the pipeline.
NFC Chips are available.
A favorite anti-competitive tactic used by Apple in the past has been to constrict supply of key components to the market place by ordering almost all supplies available, which we have seen it do recently with LCD panels used in the iPad. If it doesn’t get in to the NFC game soon it could fall foul of its own tactics as Google has suggested to NFC chip maker, NXP, that Android phone manufacturers could need up to 100 million chips in the next twelve months. Not only is that a potential lot of chips, it also suggests market share that Apple could lose if it holds back on implementing NFC until the next version of its iPhone as we have already seen the iPad 2 introduction come and go sans NFC. Google, via Samsung, is already using NXP’s PN544 NFC chip in its Nexus S.
The next iPhone is due to be announced sometime in September when we will learn if there is “One more thing” that is juiced with some NFC goodness. If it is not, the mighty Android may get to take a bite out of an apple for its lunch. Let us know in the comments which way you feel the Apple will fall.
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