NFC: Have Apple Dropped the Ball?
The Apple iPhone 5 was released over a week ago to the sound of millions cheering, clapping, and generally being ridiculously excited. That's the kind of effect that Apple has on people. But my feeling is that Apple may have dropped the ball with the iPhone 5. There are heaps of new features crammed into the latest iPhone which are justifiably worth getting excited about. The only thing that's bothering me – the only thing that’s causing disquiet – is the fact that the iPhone 5 has been released without NFC technology.
NFC, of course, stands for Near Field Communication and it’s a technology that’s found in an increasing number of phones these days. It enables you to make contactless payments using nothing more than your smartphone, and basically means that your phone can communicate with other gadgets when they're held in close proximity to one other. Just as you might scan an Oyster card when you take the tube in London, with NFC you can scan your phone (and type in your PIN) to pay for coffees or sandwiches in a café. It's widely regarded as the Next Big Thing.
NFC hasn't, as yet, 'taken off'. Some naysayers believe it might not ever take off. However, current evidence would appear to support the inexorable roll-out of NFC, for two main reasons. The first is the fact that everyone else is including it. I'm taking this to mean that NFC the technology is not prohibitively expensive to license. It's included in budget smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 and the Mini 2, which means that it would hardly have blown Apple’s budget if they were to have included it in the iPhone 5. So why the lack of support for NFC – do Apple know something we don’t about the future of this fledgling technology?Continued on the next page