NFC for iPhone 5 is now considered unlikely

A few days ago an picture of a front panel on an iPhone 5 went around the web. This particular image had a picture of a square device at the top right (when looking at the panel from the back). Matching it up to an earlier patent that Apple filed as well as some speculation based on Passbook being added to iOS 6, many people, including me, mentioned that NFC could be coming to the iPhone 5.

Well, AnandTech has commented that NFC is unlikely. The reason for this is how the iPhone 5 has been built. If all the leaked parts are official then the back of the iPhone will have a metal and glass back. The glass portions at the back are classed as RF windows which can let radio waves through. But, as they are quite small it is unlikely that NFC built in to this configuration will work correctly.

Of course, all speculation is built on parts that have leaked which may or may not be real. In the past the leaked parts have often been identified as correct, or near correct after a new generation iPhone has launched and if the parts we have seen already, particularly the glass and metal back cover is indeed correct, then I am inclined to think that Anandtech is correct with their comments.

Apple hasn’t commented yet how Passbook will actually work. All we have at the moment on the beta of iOS 6 is an icon to load up Passbook which in turn, loads up a static splash screen with a few bits of information. When clicking on the App Store button within that app, a message simply says the App Store is not available… so for now we are left guessing on exactly how Apple will implement the service. I believe scannable QR codes on the screen might be one method, but perhaps low powered bluetooth could be another option. Apple will have tested NFC but for now might have decided it was too early to get in to.

More will be revealed when Apple supposedly announces the iPhone 5 on September 12… assuming that day wont be dedicated to an iPad mini event and leave the iPhone till the month after!

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