One of the glaring omissions in Apple’s iPhone 5 keynote was any mention of NFC. The rumor mill had suggested that the iPhone 5 would come with NFC (Near Field Communications) tech for mobile payments, but the rumor ended up getting squashed in the weeks leading up to today’s event.
So why no NFC in the iPhone 5? According to Apple VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller, Passbook in iOS 6 is enough for what Apple wants to accomplish in the virtual wallet space right now. In a brief interview today, Schiller talked about NFC, and why Apple decided on the new Lightning dock connector.
In an interview, Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller said that Passbook alone does what most customers want and works without existing merchant payment systems.
It’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem, Schiller said. “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today.”
Schiller’s comments mirror a recent report from The Wall Street Journal that said Apple is talking a “go-slow approach” to mobile payments.
On the new Lightning dock:
Schiller said it simply wasn’t possible to build products as thin as the new iPhones and iPods without changing the cord. Hence, the new “Lightning” connector.
That said, Schiller said that Apple doesn’t take changing the connector lightly.
“This is the new connector for many years to come,” he said.
Some thought that Apple may implement wirelessing charging in an attempt to phase out physical cables altogether. Schiller said today that wireless charging is “for most situations, more complicated.”
Apple’s 8-pin Lightning dock is completely digital and can be used in either orientation. The main headache for customers is that existing accessories and peripherals will have to use a $30 adapter to work with the Lightning dock in the iPhone 5.