An ongoing rumor that Apple's new iPhone 5 would integrate near field communication (NFC) technology, allowing the smart phone to become a digital wallet, may be put to rest soon.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple said they’d postpone the NFC technology before jumping into the market. This is a rare move for a company known for taking the lead in innovation and presenting its users with unprecedented technologies that end up being life-changing for most.
Though last month Apple was granted an NFC-related patent called “iWallet” from the United States Trademark & Patent Office, the company has decided to postpone its release until users adopt the technology somewhere else.
iWallet would have permitted users of the upcoming iPhone 5 to keep track and control of financial transactions through their handheld devices. iWallet would also have allowed iPhone 5 users to gift iTunes products to fellow users through a NFC chip that can be integrated into iPhones and iPads for “digital interaction.”
However, in the increasingly competitive rivalry between Apple and Google the latter seems to be taking the lead as "Google Wallet" -- Google’s own NFC solution -- is already in negotiations with major credit card companies to provide the mobile commerce service through Android devices.
But in what seems like an acknowledgement of Google’s lead – at least in this particular technology – Apple has decided to hold off and opt instead for using its recently launched iOS app “Passbook” to offer its users the possibility of collecting coupons, gift cards and plane tickets. Only time will tell which will come out on top in the growing mobile commerce sector.