updated 10:35 am EDT, Fri June 3, 2011
Rest of smartphone market already moving ahead
Despite ongoing reports of the company's interest, Apple's plans for NFC remain "unknown," according to NFC chipmaker NXP Technology. Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White notes that NXP spoke at this week's Computex expo in Taiwan. The firm commented that while 80 percent of the smartphone market has already committed to NFC, including Nokia and Research in Motion, there is no clue to Apple's plans.
Although Apple is expected to add NFC support eventually, it's still unclear if a fifth-generation iPhone will incorporate the technology. "Keep in mind, the opinions on whether the next-generation iPhone will include NFC have varied widely this year," says White, "as we believe Apple carefully evaluates this new technology and how to optimize it within the company's digital ecosystem." The primary purpose of Apple's NFC is likely to be e-wallet payments, in the vein of Google Wallet. It could also be used for other purposes though, such an unlocking a Mac and/or syncing settings with it.
White adds that based on investigations at Computex, the next-generation iPhone will still probably ship in September, rather than a normal June or July timeframe. He mentions that it should continue to use an IPS panel for a Retina Display, but without a hint at the size, which has been rumored as going up to 4 inches.