New iPhone is not likely to feature NFC: here's why
Lastly, we saw an enigmatic square chip protected with an EMI shield (pictured on the image to the left) that is purported to be exactly that, an NFC chip. There is a couple of reasons why chances are that it’s not, all laid out in a sobering analysis of latest rumors by AnandTech.
The biggest one is the very essence of an NFC chip. Near field communication happens through a magnetic field that requires a big inductor. Technically, this translates into a need for as much of a wire coil as possible. This requires space and so far most uninterrupted space on a smartphone has been either on the back plate itself or on the battery. It's no surprise then that Samsung for example has built in NFC in the back cover or the battery in its latest devices.
But with the new iPhone's rumored unibody metal back, there is a problem – you have the cover in the way of the antenna, severely disrupting the NFC signal. The second logical conclusion is that if NFC is to be included in the new iPhone, it has to be at the very top and bottom, where Apple is allegedly placing RF windows for cellular connectivity. The minimum space available there is the first problem, but also Apple would have to redesign the device so that the NFC chip stands right in the middle, as that's the preferred alignment so far.
So bottomline is that given rumors so far, all engineering logic points to no NFC on the next iPhone. Does this mean that the new iPhone won't have NFC for sure? Not really. It still could, and traces of NFC-related code have been found in hardware code dumps. Also, Apple has a patent for an NFC chip that shows it could be located exactly at the tiny space on top. Moreover, with the current design likely to be used in 2013 as well, the lack of NFC will be a disadvantage for Cupertino in 2013 as well, and Apple might not want to allow that.
1. wendygarett (unregistered)
The answer is obvious!!! Because iphone don't even have the blutooth file transfer!!!
Why would iphone wanna give you the 'iBeam' when you cant even transfer file via bluetooth?
3. PAPINYC (limited) (Posts: 2044; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)
No Wendy, no NFC this go around because that will be iMplemented into the iPhone 5S six months, or so, after the release of iPhone 5.
5. kartik4u98 (Posts: 511; Member since: 19 May 2012)
I like when you give your views against Apple.!
18. wendygarett (unregistered)
but i still wanna to buy it someday tho :)
19. JessJess (unregistered)
49. jroc74 (Posts: 3952; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
And I can see the rationale from the Apple fans already.....its not necessary. Its useless...etc, etc.
Guess what happens when the next iPhone gets NFC...it all of a sudden becomes the greatest thing in the world...
59. JessJess (unregistered)
Which is exactly what Android fans do. What's your point?
They are called 'fans' for a reason.
60. jroc74 (Posts: 3952; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
If I recall....not many Android fans never said the Retina Display wasnt necessary...but I remember many iPhone, Apple fans saying 800x400 screen res was unnecessary.....while the 3GS was on a lower screen res.
I remember many Android fans pointing out how Apple, iPhone fans all of a sudden thought higher screen res was great now that the iPhone 4 had it.
Thats my point.
63. JessJess (unregistered)
.......... Ok if you want.
2. frydaexiii (Posts: 1156; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
*snicker*snicker* So what's so innovative this round? More Siri languages? Zero-shutter lag?
6. PAPINYC (limited) (Posts: 2044; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)
They did 'zero shutter lag' already; my guess is more SiRi languages so that more people around the world can talk to themselves in long mundane diAlogue like John Malkovich in the TV spots.
7. kartik4u98 (Posts: 511; Member since: 19 May 2012)
0.4 inches screen increase..Forgot ha??
12. CharlieAtInfinity (Posts: 253; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)
Already have zero shutter lag on my Xperia Arc S :)
20. JessJess (unregistered)
The snickers were a lie. So hungry.
65. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)
let me guesss.. another crappy processor they made named ''A7''...
the proccessor is actually not that good- its just the iPhone's UI and OS IS JUST TO SIMPLE- a Galaxy ace with iLauncher on it runs as fast as an iPhone.
4. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 394; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)
The Xperia P managed the NFC Xperia SmartTags with its aluminum body
10. doejon (Posts: 309; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)
but its not a unibody cuz areas where the nfc-chip and other antennas are are NOT covered with aluminum!
11. mas11 (Posts: 1014; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
Probably because it would cut into Apple's profit margin.
13. structureman116 (Posts: 134; Member since: 14 Sep 2010)
Ummm...PA could have saved a lot of space on this page by just writing one sentence on this topic..."The reason why is because its another Apple piece of $h*t"!!
14. frydaexiii (Posts: 1156; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
You know what I think this is? Imagine
Now : "New iPhone is not likely to feature NFC: here's why"
When new iPhone is released : "OMG! IT HAS NFC! SO INNOVATIVE!!!!!"
So they just made something that should have been, into an overhyped feature.
15. gameday78 (Posts: 47; Member since: 17 Mar 2012)
all of these rumors are chasing people away from buying a new phone... What gives anyone the right to keep passing these along. I was watching my local news and they were talking about it like its set in stone and i know customers are buying into it. so if sept comes and we dont have an iphone launch they are gona freak out... please stop spreading this crap till u know or hear anything from apple. fyi the world will end in dec i read it online!
16. ekia007 (Posts: 61; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)
that will be infringment in patent. you can't copy that Apple
17. bucky (Posts: 1222; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
i have yet to really see a use for nfc. Apple will most likely make is usefull somehow.
30. aokde (Posts: 185; Member since: 09 Jul 2012)
50. jroc74 (Posts: 3952; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Android and other mobile OS's that use it now already made it useful.
Please dont fall for the Apple hype...just because Apple isnt using it doesnt means its useless. You probably think 4G/LTE is a waste of time now too...
54. bucky (Posts: 1222; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
I realize that it's not new to the industry but for some reason apple always puts it together. Nobody really cared about video chat before FaceTime. Nobody really paid attention to ppi, thinness of a phone and accessories either before the the 4 came along. I'm not a bias apple fan as I love My sgs2 but apple always makes it work as it should.
Guess we will see what they will do with it mainly with accessories i think.
55. jroc74 (Posts: 3952; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Thats the thing. When Android and Win Mo phone had a higher screen res and ppi....it didnt matter....cuz it was higher than the 3GS. And Android and Win Mo companies didnt hype it like Apple does.
Apple comes and hypes up the Retina Display...now all of a sudden it matters. Phones with higher screen res and ppi were already there, just not hyped beyond belief.
Apple isnt dealing with LTE yet on the iPhone because it a battery drain and kinda unstable. I'm surprised the iPad is LTE....maybe because of the big battery...By the time the iPhone gets it...LTE tech will be more mature...and ppl will think its better because Apple did it. When its really just LTE tech will be better by then.
The more I see it...Apple are the masters of hype. Without really giving real credit to why its good or better on their products.
56. bucky (Posts: 1222; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
I fully get what u r saying. Maybe it's just a case of paying full attention to that one feature and making sure it runs as it should. Though the iPhone does lack slightly in the features compared to android it does everything in baby steps(updates) and makes sure they just work.
22. pankajgupta (Posts: 57; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)
Never read article on PA that S3 (or a particular Android smartphone) wont have NFC or wud have NFC, wud have that dfeature, wont have that feature..
Only when it comes to Apple, even if a simple feature is present or absent, a new article is written.
Seriously.. no one cares about apple that much... why is every feature in Apple is given so much importance.
24. Savage (Posts: 431; Member since: 28 Jul 2012)
No NFC? I'm sorry, How behind is gonna be Apple now? Should we wait for one more year?
They better have LTE in their iPhone this September.
36. PotDragon (banned) (Posts: 214; Member since: 22 Jul 2011)
We all saw that "survey" a few days ago claiming 4G not that important to "a majority" of users.
When the next iPhone is not 4g on both GSM & CDMA systems, watch how often that "pre fact" is quoted.
41. Savage (Posts: 431; Member since: 28 Jul 2012)
Ummmm, Yeah. Say the people who have never used 4G. Once we are used to faster speeds, going back to 3G will be a nightmare. Plus the New iPad has LTE. Why shouldn't the new iPhone?
26. gallitoking (Posts: 4630; Member since: 17 May 2011)
I ask here in the office 20 people aprox. all Android users and not one uses NFC, so I don't see the big deal yet...
29. JessJess (unregistered)
It's a big deal because its not on an iPhone yet but its on Android phones.... that's it. If the situation was reversed, people would be defending why its /not/ on Android phones calling it useless.... (sad but true).
Apple are getting things in place (they just got a patent awarded recently) to put NFC on their phones, and more importantly, give it a purpose for being there for most people. At least that is my hope, otherwise its just another useless feature. There is virtually nothing I can do with NFC here, unless someone else I know has an NFC phone.
40. PotDragon (banned) (Posts: 214; Member since: 22 Jul 2011)
When "20 people around the office" see you coming, do they all think " here comes that loser to ask about my phones operating system"?
Or just most of them?
53. jroc74 (Posts: 3952; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
It already has a purpose cuz ppl are using NFC as we speak. You really think it takes Apple to do something for it to be useful?
NFC is used for more than communicating with another phone. There's payment systems. Ppl are using it for that now.
58. JessJess (unregistered)
I already am talking about the payment system btw. That is only available by region. There is no where *here* I can pay for things with NFC.
And no it does not take Apple to do something "useful" but I believe that Apple have the ability to sway adoption.
31. aokde (Posts: 185; Member since: 09 Jul 2012)
SONY has figured a way to make NFC usable right away when you unbox your XPERIA:http://youtu.be/LfkFgtoQtFQ
32. JessJess (unregistered)
That's pretty cool :) I like it.
37. doejon (Posts: 309; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)
lol paymentsystem in germany for example will offer to pay with nfc
every phone will have nfc except iphone.. than in october 2013 apple will announce the iphone 5s with nfc hahahah
46. kingpet13 (Posts: 139; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)
Those 20 people might not use it, but all the people with Google wallet do. I personally use it to send pictures to my sister quicker.
51. jroc74 (Posts: 3952; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
And I know of at least 2 ppl who finds it useful.
So whats the point of your 20 ppl survey? Ask those same 20 ppl do they use banking apps on their phones.Would you think banking apps are useless if they didnt use it? Ask them do they buy things online. Would you think shopping online is useless if they dont do it?
We all dont use our phones the same or do the same things. Its useful for ppl that have a use for it. Thats with anything...
27. speckledapple (Posts: 877; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)
Mark my words. if all Apple has to show for its iPhone upgrade is a larger screen (with higher resolution I might suggest), thinner profile, and LTE, and a few SIri upgrades, it will be a disappointment to those who felt the 4S was not much of a bump. This will levy largely against them if thats the case.
48. Pdubb (Posts: 236; Member since: 08 Aug 2011)
They did add the new maps into the new iOS as well not sure about the other additions.
61. rallyguy (Posts: 430; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)
They had to because it doesn't have Google Maps.
34. MattAdorno (Posts: 19; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)
I doubt that most people who have phones with NFC actually use it. (Yes, I get that a lot of people still do/would want to use it).
I think NFC is nice feature to have, but not an essential one at this point.
35. Gsmalltheway (Posts: 138; Member since: 15 Aug 2009)
I really dont think it will be called the iPhone 5. The 4s was actually the fifth generation iphone. They willl probably just call it the "New iPhone" or the iphone 6
38. PotDragon (banned) (Posts: 214; Member since: 22 Jul 2011)
It makes me laugh how often the rumors are floated for a handset for which they don't even have the correct name. No chance it is called an iPhone5. None.
39. Gsmalltheway (Posts: 138; Member since: 15 Aug 2009)
Yeah i am an Andorid guy but i do give apple that they can count lol
44. Castanedaa99 (Posts: 28; Member since: 07 Nov 2011)
People need to get over the fact that it doesn't include NFC...big deal. Just another reason for lazy people not to reach into their pockets and pull their wallets out.
52. jroc74 (Posts: 3952; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
They might still have to reach in their pockets to pull their phones out...
The logic is amazing...
Maybe....just maybe....ppl use NFC for convenience. Like Speed Pass. Or Smart Trip cards, or credit cards, or...[insert convenient item here].
47. Qvergnugen (Posts: 6; Member since: 21 Feb 2012)
I thought Apple was granted a patent in 2011 for incorporating an NFC antenna in the display screen.
57. rallyguy (Posts: 430; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)
This patent thing is absurd. How can you patent the location where you put a chip? Is Apple forever banned from having a removable battery? If they did, tne they would be "copying" someone else. This patent crap has to stop.
You shouldn't be able to patent "round corners" and "a clear screen" with a display under it. Common!!!
64. akbar (Posts: 55; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)
It's a little bit of shame that AnandTech has better rummour analysis than phonearena. But wait, they actually write meaningful articles, and not printing any brain-fart which appeared on the internet and than add "What do you think" at the end.