If you take a closer look at the iPhone 5’s spec sheet, you’ll notice that Apple’s new flagship does not include the NFC (Near Field Communication) chip. This is strange since many rival handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 sports the NFC chip. Apple explains why it omitted the feature.
Speaking to AllThingsD, Phil Schiller, Apple senior executive, says that the Cupertino firm sees Passbook (an iOS 6 feature) as an alternative to NFC. It stores customers’ tickets and loyalty cards in one convenient place. It is also more convenient for retailers, since it works with their current payment system and does not require them to install contactless terminals.
Schiller says, “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today.”
Apple’s decision not to include NFC lines up with Orange’s statement earlier during the year. Speaking to CNET UK, executive VP of group marketing and innovation at Orange, Jean-Paul Cottet, said that “seen from Apple’s perspective, the NFC market is not yet enough mature”.
AllThingsD also asked Schiller why their new iPhone does not include wireless charging. Schiller said, “Having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated.”
Lastly, Schiller was asked why Apple chose to replace the iPhone’s conventional 30-pin dock connector with a smaller 9-pin dock connecter it dubbed Lightning. He said that the smaller dock was essential in making the iPhone 5 thinner and lighter.
If you’re worried Apple plans to make this connector even smaller, hence making your current cables and docks incompatible with the new device, don’t worry. Schiller says, “This is the new connector for many years to come.”
Do you think Apple should have included the NFC chip into the iPhone 5, or do you agree with Apple when it says Passbook is better? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.