It may not be the first time we've heard about Apple considering Near Field Communication (NFC) for a future iPhone, and it won't be the last. The technology has the potential to make paying for things as easy as passing your device near a wireless NFC cash register. Patently Apple has uncovered a recent NFC patent filed by the company in December 2011.
The premise of the patent is that iPhone owners could use NFC technology to easily share music with their friends or family. The process would work by allowing the user to wirelessly send a gift such as a song to a nearby iPhone. Sharing from the iTunes playlist would cost money, which would then be deducted from the gift giver's account.
PayPal is taking a new step into the smartphone arena with an iPhone accessory designed to accept payments anywhere there's a data connection. When we first wrote up competitor Square in 2009, the concept of a small device that plugs into the headphone jack and accepts credit card data was a work in progress.
The latest entry into the market is dubbed PayPal Here, and moves PayPal's services even further into the offline, brick and mortar world of commerce. Not only does PayPal's device and software swipe credit cards, but merchants can process checks using the iPhone camera, track cash payments or send invoices out for later payment.
The tenth anniversary of Apple's retail stores is on Thursday the 19th, and employees have been told nobody can take time off between the 20th and 22nd. In fact, all Apple stores have scheduled employees to work overnight between Saturday and Sunday, with mysterious packages and locked training files arriving at locations. What does Apple have up its sleeve to celebrate the 10th anniversary?
BGR reports a new product launch could be underway, or even the installation of NFC wireless payment terminals. Even though the latter would make sense, it's not clear what near-field communication technology Apple would adopt, especially since no iOS devices currently have NFC capabilities installed. Current information from analysts indicates that Apple is likely to wait until the iPhone 6 to integrate NFC into their mobile phones.