Next Generation ‘iPhone 5’ Prototypes Reported to Have NFC Capabilities

Further investigation into the hardware data dump pulled from alleged next generation iPhone prototypes have revealed near-field communication (NFC) capabilities, reports 9to5Mac:

We’ve previously been able to pull data from PreEVT iPhone 5,1 and iPhone 5,2 prototypes codenamed N41AP (5,1) and N42AP (5,2), which leads us to believe that the new iPhone will have a bigger 1136×640 display. We also detailed a lot of the hardware here but forgot one very important little bit of information. Further investigation into this hardware code dump leads us to believe that these iPhones also have Near Field Communication (NFC) controllers directly connected to the power management unit (PMU).

We’ve long heard about rumours of NFC coming to the iPhone 4S (it never came) and its eventual delay to the next generation model. NFC would enable quick wireless payments, and is exactly what Rogers and CIBC introduced earlier this year for upcoming smartphones with built in PayPass capabilities.

With the introduction of Passbook in iOS 6, it would only make sense for NFC to become a part the next generation iPhone. Apple recently filed trademark patents for Passbook in Canada that revealed ‘iWallet’ possibilities based on the Vienna classification descriptors:

20.5.16 Bank, credit or identification cards, bar-coded or not, magnetic or not

10.3.8 Wallets, purses

I could see NFC in the next iPhone integrated with Passbook and tied to your iTunes account for small purchases under $50. People could even reload their NFC Passbook payment by purchasing iTunes gift cards. It would be the start of making the digital wallet come to life.

What do you think about NFC for the next iPhone? What would make you want to adopt digital payments from your smartphone?