Apple To Add Near Field Communication (NFC) To Next-Generation iPhone?

This week, Bloomberg reports that Apple may be incorporating NFC, or Near Field Communication, hardware into the next-generation iPhone. Such a feature would allow iPhone users to turn their device into a mobile wallet:

The services are based on “Near-Field Communication,” a technology that can beam and receive information at a distance of up to 4 inches, due to be embedded in the next iteration of the iPhone for AT&T Inc. and the iPad 2, Doherty said. Both products are likely to be introduced this year, he said, citing engineers who are working on hardware for the Apple project.

In a sentence, NFC allows customers to walk into a store and make a purchase directly from their device.

One likely route is coupling payments of merchandise to an existing iTunes account. In other words, when you purchase something using your iPhone, your credit card on file with iTunes would be charged.

The report further indicates that Apple may have already constructed prototype payment terminals for small businesses to scan NFC-enabled iOS devices.

What do you think? In a few months, will we be waving our iPhone in-front of a terminal to check out with our purchases?