A new report from Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes cites industry watchers who firmly believe that Apple’s iPhone refresh this year will include LTE cellular (4G), as well as Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, opening new opportunities for Tim Cook & Co. to leverage hundreds of millions of iTunes credit cards on file.
Before you give Taiwan’s DigiTimes too much credit for this story, bear in mind that Apple’s iPhone business has long been rumored to offer support for these particular technologies. It’s only a matter of time, pundits say.
Now, according to an unspecified number of “industry watchers” who are presumably privy of Cupertino’s plans with the iPhone 5, “Apple is scheduled to unveil its next-generation iPhone in September, [with] a large-size display in an ultra-thin design and supporting LTE and NFC technologies.”
While LTE is pretty much a given (unless battery life continues to pose problems this year too), Near Field Communication, or NFC, is somewhat more difficult to imagine taking over the iOS ecosystem, though not at all far-fetched.
One reason why Apple is one of the primary contenders to a successful leveraging of NFC is iTunes, the company’s digital distribution system for applications, music, video, and other types of media.
The iTunes Store hosts hundreds of millions of accounts with credit cards ready to buy an app or a song with one click. The same ease of use could be transferred over to other types of purchases (i.e. groceries), by simply sliding your iPhone in front of a sensor when you’re ready to hit the exit.
Needless to mention, NFC promises to be a big game changer in the coming years.
Plus, Apple has developed an app called Passbook, which works like an e-wallet for all your passes. It should work great with NFC in the iPhone 5.
Investors have a lot of faith in the company’s CEO, Tim Cook, pulling this off, as Apple not only has a well-established platform to get the show on the road, but also a sea of customers ready to try it out.