There are reports that Apple will introduce a mobile payments option with the new iPhone.
Near Field Communication, or NFC, did not make the big splash that Google had hoped to with Google Wallet. Samsung's giving NFC a big push with the Galaxy S III and now insiders say Apple is ready to get on the bandwagon.
Before the iPhone 4S launched, it was heavily rumored that Apple would add NFC capabilities to its smartphone in order to give Android the roundhouse kick to chest, but because of a "lack of a clear standard across the industry" it decided not to.
According to the Apple intel scavengers at 9to5Mac, there is substantial info that suggest the next iPhone will have a built-in NFC antenna.
9to5Mac believes that Apple could combine NFC with its Passbook app (an app that manages all of your boarding tickets, membership cards, etc.) or partner up with payment processors such as Citibank's PayPass to accelerate adoption. Of course, if Apple does include NFC in its next iPhone in a big way, mobile payment systems such as Square could end up on the chopping soon.
Still, the prospect of NFC as a must-have feature for mobile is very exciting. As I wrote in my impressions for the Samsung Galaxy S III, NFC is that smartphone's killer feature. Let me quote myself:
Samsung's sharing features provide a type of real-life and real-time intimacy that I haven't felt since film was in vogue. There's a joy in sharing a digital file of a just-taken photo as if it were a tangible item.
What Samsung's done with NFC is create an experience that brings people together; something Apple's products are known for. NFC for the iPhone is a no-brainer. And if not in the next iPhone, you can bet your rear that it's on its way.
The next iPhone is expected to carry a larger 4-inch Retina display with a 1,336x640 resolution and a redesigned case featuring a unibody metal design that'll make the iPhone stronger and thinner.
If Apple continues with the iPhone 4S's launch window, the next iPhone shouldn't arrive until October.
Will we finally be on our way to ditching our wallets and using our phones to for shopping, sharing files and more? I sure hope so.