Rumor Mill: Apple's iPhone 5 likely to introduce NFC support

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Leaked photos indicate Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will finally introduce Near Field Communications support for iOS devices when the next edition of the iPhone reaches stores this fall.

New photos allegedly depicting the front assembly of the forthcoming iPhone 5 surfaced over the weekend--while consistent with previous images, the photos also include new components, including what appears to be an NFC chip located adjacent to the smartphone's front-facing camera. Japanese Apple blog MacOtakara notes the square component covered by EMI shielding is in line with the dimensions of currently available NFC packages.

Rival mobile operating systems including Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry already support Near Field Communications. Apple was widely expected to roll out NFC support with the current iPhone 4S, introduced in 2011, but those rumors failed to materialize. However, Apple has already confirmed that its new iOS 6 operating system update will incorporate Passbook, an app that stores and updates boarding passes, retailer loyalty cards, movie ticket apps and related consumer information and documents. Passbook's launch has renewed speculation that NFC-enabled contactless payment features will arrive with the next version of the iPhone. During Apple's most recent earnings call, CEO Tim Cook said Passbook is a "very key feature" in iOS, but declined to elaborate.

Apple is expected to formally announce the newest iPhone during a Sept. 12 media event.

Six in 10 U.S. consumers express interest in using an Apple mobile wallet service if such a solution existed, according to a survey published by financial services consulting firm Carlisle & Gallagher. Among the 605 Americans surveyed in April, 48 percent said they are interested in a mobile wallet: Eight of 10 consumers said they would use PayPal as their wallet service provider, and six in 10 would use Google. Both PayPal and Google have already rolled out mobile wallet efforts.

For more:
- read this AppleInsider article

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