Apple’s Schiller: iOS 6 Passbook works in place of NFC

Ina Fried for All Things D:

In an interview, Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller said that Passbook alone does what most customers want and works without existing merchant payment systems. It’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem, Schiller said. “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today.”

Near Field Communication, or NFC, has been promoted as The Next Big Thing in smartphones – technology that will make it easier to buy products and exchange data using smartphones and other devices.

Some pundits and tech bloggers had thought the iPhone 5 would have NFC built-in, but it doesn’t. Passbook, a new feature of iOS 6, enables users to keep track of boarding passes, movie tickets, loyalty reward programs and other services.

And by virtue of it being built into the operating system, not the device, Passbook will have a much larger potential installed base right off the bat, when iOS 6 is released next Wednesday.