Why The Next Generation iPhone May Not Include NFC

We speculated the thought that the next generation iPhone may include NFC capabilities yesterday upon a leaked photo of iPhone internals. While the situation seemed right, with Passbook being released in iOS 6, some other sources pleaded otherwise.

AnAndTech’s Brian Klug has deeply analyzed ‘iPhone 5’ leaked parts and rumors, and has determined the metal backside of the device won’t allow for NFC capabilities. This is the issue with metal:

Getting a good inductor into the device is important because how much inductance your antenna has will determine maximum coupling distance and ease of alignment. It shouldn’t need saying, but having a huge ground plane (the unibody metal back case) in the way of your NFC antenna will seriously degrade performance, thus only the top or bottom windows are logical places to put it.

The difficulty of having room for the NFC chip appears to be a concern too. What was determined as an NFC chip yesterday, was stored near the top of the device near the earpiece:

In fact, given the very little space at top and bottom dedicated to those glass RF windows, you can almost entirely rule it out.

Although wireless payments between iPhones would be a drop-dead convenient ability, the current Passbook application has left no indication of such functionality. I guess primarily we can use Passbook as a convenience to storing gift cards, movie tickets, plane tickets, etc.

As for further credentials on NFC, The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple replied to Klug’s article with his famous “yep” verification.

What are your thoughts on NFC?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • CMfly

    But by the looks of that piece the NFC chip would be in the top or bottom windows would it not?

  • RyanStOnge

    In the picture it’s actually at the top, the set of images posted on yesterdays post provides a look at the bottom of the iPhone panel.

  • NoOneCares

    Are they saying no NFC at all, or just no reader? I don’t know NFC tech, but why is a metal back a problem? The front is glass, and why is size a problem – credit cards are small and they include NFC.