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NFC Technology Coming To Next-gen iPads, iPhones

January 25, 2011

Bloomberg news service reported on Tuesday that Apple is reportedly going to integrate its next-generation iPad and iPhone devices with near-field communications (NFC) technology.

NFC technology would allow consumers to use the smartphone and tablet devices to make mobile payments as an alternative to cash and credit cards.

Richard Doherty, director of the technology consulting firm Envisioneering Group, told Bloomberg that the iPhone 5 and the iPad 2 would likely include NFC chips.

The technology allows devices to exchange information over no more than four inches.  A mobile device equipped with NFC could send payment information from a bank account to a register or terminal, allowing people to use them to pay for items and services at stores, restaurants, and other types of retail outlets.

Apple hired an expert in NFC to join its mobile commerce team at the same time it reportedly was already testing the inclusion of the technology in its next iPhone.

The new technology could also help them more easily transfer and share files and settings between their NFC-equipped smartphones and other devices, like PCs.

Last November, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile announced the creation of a new mobile payments network that would use NFC. 

Google soon followed that up with a launch of its Nexus S Android phone packaging an embedded NFC chip and with support for the technology in Android.

Doherty told Bloomberg that Apple is currently looking into launching a mobile payment service as early as the middle of this year.

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