NFC (Near Field Communication) was one of the big will they?/won’t they? questions surrounding the iPhone 4S. Of course, it didn’t materialise, and now the same question is being asked of the imminent iPhone 5.
The cyber press has been back and forth, back and forth over iPhone 5 NFC of late. Well, the music has stopped once again, and now we’re all standing on the side marked “Probably not”.
Anandtech for one goes into a whole heap of detail (seriously, lots of detail) about how NFC works, and ultimately concludes that it’s “unlikely” to appear on the iPhone 5.
The guys write: “Given the primarily metal backside of the new iPhone, it’s highly unlikely that NFC is in the cards for this generation. In fact, given the very little space at top and bottom dedicated to those glass RF windows, you can almost entirely rule it out.”
Jim Dalrymple concurs, posting the above excerpt on The Loop and simply adding: “Yep”.
NFC is typically synonymous with "contactless" payments, though the two don't strictly need each other. NFC can do a bunch of other stuff (tap to connect, interactive tags), and there are other contactless payment technologies out there.
Of course, the announcement of Passbook in iOS 6 caused many to scream “NFC!”, but there’s always the chance it’ll use some sort of BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) tech instead.