iPhone 5 and iPad 2 will pack NFC Chips
The iPhone 5 and iPad 2 will both pack NFC chips. We've heard some rumors about this for weeks now. But today, Bloomberg.com reports that engineers "working on hardware" for the new iPhone and iPad have confirmed the presence of NFC chips to Richard Doherty, of the Envisioneering Group. This will be party of a larger move towards NFC technology.
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Apple also has plans to change iTunes to include "loyalty credits" and "points". Users will be able to accrue these by making purchases at specific restaurants / shops or referring friends to the new service. NFC tech will also be used to make even more targeted ads, these ones specific to the exact place and time you are at.
One of the downsides to NFC technology is that it requires the presence of an NFC reader to use in a retail outlet. Apple is apparently looking into the practicality of subsidizing the cost of that reader terminal, or giving it away, in order to push adoption among certain businesses / types of business.
This may seem like a long shot, but Apple has a fifty billion dollar war chest. That is an almost inconceivable chunk of money, certainly enough to finance a major effort. A brief search for NFC terminals puts the price-per-unit between $200 and $1000. So we'll say, $500 for now. By throwing a billion dollars at retailers and restaurants across the country, Apple could afford roughly two million readers.
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And that's if they only use 1/50th of their existing stockpile. Mobile payment technology is the future. Apple can't help but know this. They've got the money, the position in the industry, and the right timing to revolutionize the way we pay. Once again, Apple is in a position to change the world.