When rumors were going around about Apple’s next iPhone last year, one of the more popular ones was the idea that some sort of Near Field Communication, or NFC system would be included with the phone. This would enable actions such as waving your phone over a credit card machine to pay, or transferring files simply by having two devices near each other.
Sadly, we didn’t get to see such a technology in the iPhone 4S, but as usual, the rumors that aren’t fulfilled the first time crop up again. The difference this time is that we have some weight behind it. In an interview with Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard’s head of mobile payment, Fast Company managed to get Ed to slip up, and reveal a convincing clue that the next iPhone will include at least some NFC capabilities.
EM: “The timeline is always as rapid as it makes sense for consumers.” he says. “That’s a combination of having a critical mass of the merchants, which is what you’re seeing right now, and getting devices into the hands of consumers. I don’t know of a handset manufacturer that isn’t in process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready.”
FC: “So that would include Apple then?”
EM: “Um, there are…like I say, [I don’t know of] any handset maker out there,” McLaughlin says. “Now, when we have discussions with our partners, and they ask us not to disclose them, we don’t.”
The weakest point of Apple’s web of secrecy has always been when they have to make deals with outside companies, who aren’t as experienced at evading questions like that. As such, it is apparent that Apple is in some serious talks with MasterCard about new tech for the next iPhone, so all we have to do is wait.