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Speculation regarding the expected features of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) next-generation iPhone — rumored to be launching at the company’s media event today — has included uncertainty over whether the device will include near-field communications capability. While some experts believe NFC, which is used in touch-less payments, among other uses, will be included. After all, a lot of new Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android handsets have the feature, and Apple would be doing a disservice to itself by leaving it out. More lately, though, expectations have petered down, with several analyst expressing doubts that this particular model will be equipped with the new technology.
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However, in a series of tweets this morning, prominent iOS developer Will Strafach, who goes by the handle Chronic, indicated that NFC hardware would indeed be included in the iPhone 5. However, he stressed that it may not actually be set up for payment systems just yet. “[A]ll of you annoying doubters of a certain technology being present in the new iPhone, all I will say is: gpio12,” Strafach wrote. While he did not explain the cryptic reference to “gpio12″, Strafach later added that an iPhone model identified as N42AP had an NFC chip.
He added that the possibility of an NFC chip had largely been dismissed because Apple is not likely to offer e-wallet functionality with the new device. However, he stressed that NFC technology offers “much more than just payments.”
If Strafach is right, it would prove a reputed Apple insider, Jim Dalrymple of The Loop, wrong. In response to an AnandTech piece days ago that concluded NFC functionality was “unlikely” in the handset, Dalrymple simply said, “Yep.”
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