∞ iPhone 5: NFC or no NFC?

iPhone 5 rumors are running rampant these days. The latest speculation is focusing on whether or not the iPhone will include Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]I don’t think there’s any doubt that NFC will make it into the iPhone at point, but whether or not it will be with the upcoming iPhone 5 depends on who you listen to.

Quoting Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi last night, AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski wrote that the technology probably wouldn’t come in the iPhone 5. He correctly points out that the technology has to be adopted by merchants before it becomes popular among consumers.

However, references reports from BGR.com, Matthew Panzarino on Tuesday speculates that changes to Apple retail stores this week could point to NFC coming to the next iPhone.

Panzarino points to three specific changes: All point-of-sale devices have been taken offline; overnight sessions installing secret devices; and new tables with built-in cash wraps.

BGR.com is also reporting that Apple may be planning something big for its retail anniversary this Thursday.

This report mirrors things that I have been told by my own sources, although I couldn’t determine what exactly is happen.

  • 1) Isn’t it the iPhone 4S now anyway? 😉

    2) Why, when I comment through my Google account, does it show my real name and not the alias I set up?

  • Ben G.

    1) Isn’t it the iPhone 4S now, anyway? 😉

    2) I am having issues when logging in to this comment system via Google. It looks like it wants to show my real name instead of the alias that I set up (which has always shown on other sites when I comment through my Google account, like Blogger). I take privacy seriously, so I don’t want my real name floating around the internet too much. Contact me via email to discuss?

  • Crafty

     Too late Ben Garland of Ohio on St. Clair Street, 35 years old born to Wilma! Social 056-56-9821 phone 457-555-9652!!! For anyone stupid enough to believe all that good luck with that info!

  • His Shadow

     NFC in the iPhone just to buy things at the Apple Store? Somehow I don’t think so. The point about merchants is spot on. But if Apple thinks it’s the future, putting in the phone and activating it later (Wireless N, anyone?) when it matters would be in line with Apple’s style.

    And celebrating a retail anniversary? From a company that didn’t mark the 10 year milestone for the product (the iMac) that signaled that Apple was back in the game? I’m sure whatever is brewing, it’s not specifically for any one aspect of Apple’s business.

    • Jth9234

      The iMac is nowhere near as significant as you point out. What put Apple back in the game and on top of its game was the iPod and iTunes. No Mac computer ever quite caught on to compete with Windows based PC’s. But looking at the current tablet craze of the iPad, in the end, it might not matter… 

      • Anonymous

        The iMac was a very important turning point in Apple fortunes that kept the fire burning for bigger and better things to come. Apple had dismal aura just prior to iMac, I remember long time Apple SI in Tokyo talking up Apple stock when market advice was all sell. Didn’t listen 🙁

      • His Shadow

         Sure. If you ignore the first product to showcase Apple’s radical new approach to PC design that ushered in a rash of knockoffs, eliminated legacy ports, as well as redefine the user experience, I guess you can pretend the iMac wasn’t important to Apple’s resurgence. 

        Oh, and you also need to pretend anyone gives a shit about market share arguments. 

        • Jth9234

          Well my point is no one gave a shyt about the iMac, u r just getting carried away…

          • No one but the millions of consumers who bought it.

          • His Shadow

            And my point is you don’t know what you are talking about. But then you were only 8 when the iMac debuted, so you wouldn’t really be aware of it’s impact.

          • His Shadow

            And my point is you don’t know what you are talking about. But then you were only 8 when the iMac debuted, so you wouldn’t really be aware of it’s impact.

  • Anonymous

    “technology has to be adopted by merchants before it becomes popular among consumers” Payment is only one app for NFC, the social and location uses can be the main drivers consumers will first place important value on NFC support. Huge interaction innovation opportunities are being overlooked by tech sites.

  • Anonymous

     “the technology has to be adopted by merchants before it becomes popular among consumers.”

    Not really. This is a chicken-and-egg problem. Merchants won’t deploy the technology until consumers have it, and consumers won’t pay extra for it until they can use it.

    But if the cost of adding it is marginal, I think it makes sense for Apple to add it first. When Apple added USB to the iMac, the market responded with USB peripherals.  If Apple ads NFC to the iPhone, then millions of consumers will have NFC in their pockets, and merchants will jump on that bandwagon.  After all, it makes sense to make it easier for customers to buy things—that’s the whole reason merchants accept credit cards in the first place!

    • Bizlaw

      Small, independent retailers won’t add NFC until it becomes prevalent and customers start requesting it frequently. It’s going to take a combination of Apple with the iPhone/iPod/iPad adding NFC and large retail chains like Starbucks, McDonalds, Home Depot, gas stations, etc. adding NFC terminals. It may even take companies like Visa and MasterCard to subsidize terminals for many retailers to add them, because it will be seen as a nice convenience to consumers, but it’s not like people are going to leave their wallets at home just because their iPhone is NFC equipped.

      This won’t be so much a chicken-and-egg thing as it will be a slow growth/trickle down thing.