Apple's iPhone Said To Be Getting NFC Capabilities

Credit cards may soon be obsolete, with Apple among those leading the charge to bring "wave and pay" technology to smartphones.

Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology, which makes contactless mobile payments possible, allows a mobile device to communicate wirelessly with an NFC receiver at short distances. A customer would merely wave or tap an NFC-equipped smartphone in front of a receiver to complete a transaction.

The New York Times reports that an upcoming Apple iPhone--though it may not be the iPhone 5--will feature NFC capabilities.

"According to two people with knowledge of the inner workings of a coming iteration of the Apple iPhone -- although not necessarily the next one -- a chip made by Qualcomm for the phone's processor will also include near-field communication technology," writes the Times.

In addition, an NFC-equipped iPhone will reportedly share data with the customer's iTunes account. According to the Times, "One person familiar with the new Apple feature said the phone's credit card information would be tied to information currently used on iTunes, which would make it simple for customers to set up the new mobile payment method on the iPhone."

Cult of Mac recently reported that Apple is testing a "remote computing system" that allows the user to log into the Mac App store by tapping an NFC-equipped Apple laptop with an NFC-equipped iPhone.

Neither the Times's sources not Cult of Mac's tipster specified which iPhone Apple plans to release with this e-wallet technology.

Could the iPhone 5 be the first Apple phone to feature NFC hardware? Conflicting reports have emerged from different sources, so it's tough to tell at present.

Do you think the iPhone 5 will feature NFC technology? Answer our poll (below), and share your thoughts in the comments. Read on for the latest rumors about the iPhone 5's antenna and new design.

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