A MasterCard exec has hinted that the iPhone5 will have NFC (Near field communication) built into it. Discussing the companies goals recently, Ed McLaughlin was asked about NFC adoption in 2012 and may have unwittingly let slip that Apple is finally going to introduce the technology.
"The timeline is always as rapid as it makes sense for consumers," he says. "That’s a combination of having a critical mass of the merchants, which is what you’re seeing right now, and getting devices into the hands of consumers. I don’t know of a handset manufacturer that isn’t in process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready."
So that would include Apple then?
"Um, there are…like I say, [I don't know of] any handset maker out there," McLaughlin says. "Now, when we have discussions with our partners, and they ask us not to disclose them, we don’t."
The Google Nexus has NFC built in, and together with the Google Wallet service has proved very successful, albeit with the tech-savvy early adopters. Apple has most probably looked at the adoption, together with the increased presence of NFC chips in recently announced phones like the Sony Xperia S and the Blackberry Curve 9360 and decided it was time to jump on board the contactless train!