It is not even a week since we commented here on the hiring of Benjamin Vigier, a specialist in short-range communications (Near Field Communications, or NFC). Today the TechCrunch brought back to life a rumor on this subject: according to the blog's sources, Apple would already have an iPhone prototype with these capabilities being tested! Exactly what we heard last November.
Only now there are more succulent details surrounding the subject. The hardware in use would be from NXP Semiconductor, a leader in the NFC market. However, perhaps the final supplier of the component will end up being Broadcom, which produces the Wi-Fi and GPS components on the iPhone 4. It has just acquired Innovision Research & Technology, which specializes in data transfers via NFC.
Thus, although it is already being tested on prototypes, it may take a while for it to reach the market. I would not bet that it is already present on the iPhone 5, although the TechCrunch believe it strongly. Remember the gyroscope that never made it to the iPad? The empty space left by him indicated the use of a supplier's component, but Ma ended up opting for another company to use on iPhone 4.: – /
In any case, the presence of NFC in various products from Ma can take the well-known ?Halo Effect? to other levels: an iPhone could transfer or receive files from a Mac with such a feature, or control an Apple TV, making the lives of those has several Apple products much more magical. Not to mention that being able to use your Apple ID and iTunes Store account to pay the supermarket bill will take the collection of personal information (and iAd) to an almost Orwellian level.