I've mentioned before that I think Apple could add another unique feature to the iPhone 5 and that it might be NFC. My reasons for thinking this were that Apple gave the 4S Siri last year to make it a little more unique. When Apple [AAPL] announced iOS 6 they also announced Passbook which essentially uses the GPS/WiFi to track where you are and when at specific locations it loads up voucher codes, boarding passes and other items for you to have scanned in by a scanner. By adding NFC on the new iPhone, it opens up the possibilities of simply tapping your phone on a sensor (or hovering over it) to make payment or use a pass.
So, what appears next is a new part leak that appears to have some sort of NFC functionality embedded.
The part shown above is the front panel of an iPhone 5, looking at it from the back of course. When I say it is a part from an iPhone 5, of course that isn't proof that it is from an iPhone 5. It might be just a fake part or perhaps an old testing part that doesn't get used. Either way, it's another lead on to what might show that the next gen iPhone has an NFC sensor.
Recently, an NFC hardware code was found in a build of iOS which caused speculation to start up again (NFC has been rumoured on and off for a few years now). Adding the image above and combining it with a patent released by Apple a while back, it makes for a good argument. NFC hasn't particularly taken off with other smartphone makers. I've yet to see (or notice) someone use an NFC sensor, perhaps because it's rare that I see an Android smartphone with NFC etc... The iPhone is a popular product and should Apple put an NFC chip inside the new model it would be immediately be purchased by millions and will potentially make NFC more usable and wanted by the public.
This will likely be a big part of the launch in the next few weeks if that goes ahead. Although I've already mentioned that a lot of this is just putting 2 and 2 together, NFC has become more convincing with the images above when compared to the patent diagram pictured below. Remember that flipping the phone over puts it in the correct area when compared to the diagram... yes, it's a little out but it's only a diagram remember.