updated 06:45 pm EDT, Thu March 17, 2011
Cryptic hint has iPhone 5 keeping NFC
(Update: more details on the source and projects) An unusual comment from an Apple worker has raised the possibility that the iPhone 5 will still have its rumored NFC support. Despite rumors of a cancellation, Elizabeth Woyke of Forbes heard through an entrepreneur that the new model was still due for near-field wireless. She didn't glean more.
The previous claim had suggested that Apple was unhappy with the lack of a common standard for NFC.
The comment is two steps removed from the original source and should be treated with caution, but it supports a majority of previous rumors that had it coming with the presumed summer iPhone update. Apple would most likely use it for NFC's traditional role of payments but may have its own unique additions, such as iTunes integration or even Mac profile syncing with future models.
Multiple smartphone makers, including Nokia and RIM, have publicly pledged to supporting NFC in 2011 and might put added pressure on Apple to adopt the technology early. Google has already made NFC a main addition for Android 2.3 and may be testing a wireless payment system this year that could corner Apple out of the market if its underlying system is widely adopted.
Update: The entrepreneur was said to be working on a "top-secret" NFC project. He was also aware of other NFC gear makers expecting the iPhone 5 to carry NFC and bracing their systems for the glut of extra traffic. [via SAI]