In an interview with AllThingsD, Apple’s Senior Vice President, Phil Schiller, explains why the new iPhone 5 has a smaller dock connector dubbed Lightning, the lack of NFC support and no wireless charging yet.
Why There’s No NFC
Schiller noted “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today,” and also works with merchant payment systems already in place. NFC as a solution isn’t clear to problems that exist today he notes.
The Lack of Wireless Charging
As for why Apple hasn’t invented wireless charging, he noted:
“Having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated,”
Even if there was a wireless charging solution, there would still be a requirement to have it plugged into the wall. The USB cord, on the other hand, can charge in outlets, computers and airplanes he noted.
On the New Smaller ‘Lightning’ Dock Connector
The new Lightning dock connector was necessary because according to Schiller, building new products as thin as the iPhone 5 and new iPod touch wouldn’t be possible with the old 30 pin connector. A change in the cord was required, which is being touted as 80 percent smaller than before. Schiller goes on to say “This is the new connector for many years to come.”
The lack of NFC isn’t a big surprise to me, given how the adoption rate hasn’t really gotten off the ground, plus coordinating with merchants is always a challenge. Wireless charging? That would be pretty cool, but in my experience putting an iPhone into a dock has been quite easy.
As for the connector, this is the one I’m hearing the most negativity about, as it basically renders old accessories useless. The new Lightning adapters aren’t cheap at $35 a pop.
This is Apple, we can’t do anything to change their new products. You can decide whether or not you want to upgrade, but of course once we go hands on with the thinner and lighter iPhone 5, we’ll pretend none of this talk ever happened and reach for our wallets.