Information leaking out of Apple indicates that the next iPhone is going to have NFC (Near Field Communications). If true, it will enable this smartphone to be used like a wallet.
This information supposedly comes from a prototype iPhone 5 unit that 9to5mac got access to. It won't be confirmed until this fall, when this device is expected to launch.
This is not the first time an unconfirmed report has linked NFC support to an upcoming iPhone. This has been a re-occurring rumor for at least a year.
More about NFC
NFC involves a small chip being embedded into the handset, which, in turn, allows users to interact with other NFC chips. With this technology, people could do things like make credit card payments with a swipe of their phones.
It has been theorized that Apple's recently-announced PassBook app will be NFC enabled. PassBook -- which will debut with iOS 6 this fall -- will allow users to store and use coupons, reward cards, airline boarding passes, and more.
Google has been a big proponent of NFC, building the Google Wallet app for the Android OS around it. However, only a few devices have NFC built into them. That's starting to change, however -- the Samsung Galaxy S III has it, for example.
A Redesigned Dock Connector, Too
A separate report adds to the growing evidence that Apple is re-designing the 30-pin charging-and-data port used on its smartphones and tablets. The new version will supposedly have 19 pins, and its smaller size will enable Apple to make thinner devices.
Another goal of the new dock connector is apparently to prevent companies from making accessories for the iPhone and iPad without Apple's permission.
Other iPhone 5 Details
Although Apple itself has said nothing so far about its next smartphone, rumors have been flying. Among the more notable of these is one that says this handset will have a 4-inch, 1136 x 640 display, larger and higher-resolution than the current version.
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