Tuesday, September 11, 2012

iPhone 5, NFC: make or break?

Well, it has once again become a crazy busy summer and now is almost fall.  I apologize again for the lack of updates.  Today's post will center around the beast that is the iPhone 5 and an emerging communication protocol: NFC (near field communication).  I won't be analyzing all of the rumored features of the iPhone 5 (that will be unveiled tomorrow) but concentrating on one feature and how its inclusion/exclusion could affect it and its adoption.

Apple sells phones, lots of phones.  People like iPhones.  Period.  I'm an Android fan as of late but still recognize and respect the iPhone for what it is and has done for the industry.  Tomorrow Apple will unveil the iPhone 5 to the world and what upgrades it offers over the 4S.  Finally the rumors will be put to rest and the specs released.

One of the big rumors I'm watching closely is if Apple will include NFC into the iPhone 5 or not.  Android has been putting NFC into the premium smartphones since about late 2011.  The Samsung Nexus S was the first USA phone to feature NFC and that was in Dec 2010.

Currently the rumors point to no, the iPhone 5 will not have NFC due to the lack of a radio location on the leaked images/designs.  I believe Apple will utilize a battery based NFC chip and in turn the leaked designs may not show that part.

If NFC is not in the iPhone 5, I believe NFC's mass adoption rate will be affected.  Android does account for the majority of smartphones but only newer phones will have an NFC chip embedded.  So when it comes down to it, late 2013/early 2014 should be the time frame that NFC could be mainstream due the fact that most users are on 2 year contracts and either have recently renewed agreements w/the iPhone 4S or will renew w/the iPhone 5.

In my opinion, this mass adoption rate timeframe would greatly be decreased if the iPhone 5 does have an NFC chip.  Apple knows how to make tech features mainstream unlike Android.  How many users know they have Face Unlock on their new Galaxy Nexus or SIII?

So as everyone else sits and waits for the screen size, processor, memory specs to be announced; I'll be waiting to see if my fave three letters are mentioned: NFC