Is This The Next iPhone’s Secret NFC Chip?

Is This The Next iPhone’s Secret NFC Chip?

Here’s an interesting theory from Macotakara, riffing on photos highlighted by Apple.pro last week: the square chip seen at the top of the next iPhone, to the right of the built-in iSight camera, could be an NFC chip. In fact, it looks exactly the same size as one.

It certainly makes sense. Code references to NFC within the iOS 6 beta have already been found. In addition, with iOS 6, Apple is laying the groundwork for what could become an NFC payment system with their new app, Passbook. Even though the Passbook app right now is meant as a sort of e-wallet for traditionally purchased tickets and loyalty cards, it’s not hard to imagine how Apple could fairly easily expand the functionality of Passbook to encompass payments if the next iPhone had the proper tech.

If the next iPhone does have an NFC chip, you could do everything from pay for groceries, board a plane or buy a ticket on the bus just by swiping your smartphone… as long as Apple was successful in luring enough partners onboard, which it may have a hard time doing if it insists on its customary 70/30 split.

I like this theory, though: Passbook will work on any device capable of running iOS 6 as a useful e-wallet, but that e-wallet will only have money in it if you have an iPhone 5. What do you think?

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  • technochick

    Here’s a question for ya John.

    At least in the US there is already a pay with your phone app for Starbucks. Does Apple get 30% of that, epecially given that the bill isn’t charged to my iTunes but rather accesses a stored Starbucks gift card.

    I’m guessing no they don’t. I’m further guessing that many of the apps in question would use similar structures and thus they wouldn’t be paying Apple per use fees either.

    Perhaps you should do a little research yourself on such matters instead of copping to the ‘we are bloggers’ excuse for sloppy writing

  • volodoscope

    About time. I don’t think Apple will charge any fee for using eWallet. They’re not storring and distributing it like Apps, where it is 70/30. I can see Apple’s iTunes payments being used though, further embedding Apple ID into the whole eco-system. Google is doing that with Google Wallet, but they kind of slowed down since no one has enough phones with it. Since iPhone is the most popular single phone most retailers will jump on this.

  • Theresekwv

    what Pauline replied I’m impressed that a mom can earn $8406 in four weeks on the computer. have you seen this link (Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/VoF0O

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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