updated 06:07 pm EDT, Tue August 28, 2012
Metal back seen as main obstacle
A pair of reports suggest that, like last year, Apple still isn't prepared to put NFC (near-field communications) technology into the iPhone. AnandTech comments that because leaks have so far indicated the next iPhone will have a mostly metal back, an NFC reader is "unlikely" to make it into the next hardware. That position is supported by The Loop's Jim Dalrymple; Dalrymple is known to have accurate industry sources.
While rumors of NFC technology surrounded the iPhone 4S, they have been revived for the new device based on things like code strings in iOS 6 and, on a more speculative basis, the new OS' Passbook app. The software stores digital tickets, coupons, and passes, and NFC might make it easy to go a step further and conduct complete transactions. Apple's main rival, Google, has had e-wallet technology since mid-2011, and a number of Android phones already have matching NFC hardware.
Regarding reports of a unknown component inside the new iPhone, AnandTech argues that it's more likely to be a touch/display controller for the in-cell touchscreen technology Apple is allegedly switching to. In-cell displays weave touch sensors into the screen itself, instead of sandwiching them on as a separate layer.