Apple has apparently been testing prototype versions of the next generation iPhone with RFID support built-in. If true, the next iPhone hardware update could lets users interact with other RFID-enabled devices.
News of Apple's RFID tests appeared on the Linkdin Near Field Communications Group page, according to Near Field Communications World.RFID is a technology that uses radio waves to identify items, and right now is used by some companies to track product inventory.
"A highly reliable source has informed me that Apple has built some prototypes of the next gen iPhone with an RFID reader built in and they have seen it in action," Einar Rosenberg said in the Linkdin group. "So its not full NFC but its a start for real service discovery and I'm told that the reaction was very positive that we can expect this in the next gen iPhone." Einar Rosenberg runs the NFC Group on Linkdin.
Adding RFID support to the iPhone would let the combination iPod and smartphone share data and perform other functions by bringing the handheld into very close proximity of other RFID-enabled devices.
Testing a prototype doesn't necessarily mean RFID support will be included in the next generation iPhone, but the idea of could enable new ways of using the iPhone with other devices.
"Guess I'll be touching my iPhone to my Mac to link them together to sync iTunes by next year," Mr. Rosenberg said.