Apple will not be adding support for Near Field Communications (NFC) mobile payments to its next iPhone, according to a research note from AllianceBernstein, a Wall Street investment bank. The rumor echoes an unsourced report out of the UK late last week, but contradicts reports from earlier in the year that Apple was working on implementing the feature.
NFC technology is the name for low-power wireless transmitters that can be added to electronic devices or embedded in just about anything. The transmitters can then be embedded with data of all sorts, including identification information, but they require a very close proximity (typically in the 4cm range) to work.
One popular theoretical application of NFC is the ability to use your mobile device to make purchases at stores and restaurants. With such a mobile payment solution, users would be able to wave their iPhone, Android smartphone, or other mobile device at a doohickey connected to a cash register, and voilá, your venti non-caf soy latte would be paid for.
The technology is in use in Asia, but it hasn’t been widely adopted, and it is virtually unknown in the U.S. Apple has been amongst those companies rumored to be working on implementing such a system in the company’s popular iPhone line, with reports starting as early as late 2010 that the next generation of the device would include an Apple NFC-based mobile payment solution.
The AllianceBernstein research note throws cold water on the idea, according to BusinessInsider. Apple isn’t expected to introduce the next generation of iPhone until late in the Summer, possibly in September.