There was a report last week that Apple is already testing a prototype iPhone with near-field communication (NFC) capability inside that could lead to using future iPhones as a mobile wallet or payment device. Unnamed sources say that Apple is testing an iPhone with NFC chips procured from NXP Semiconductor. It's not clear what exactly what they are testing and is very preliminary at this point. But coupled with the hire of Benjamin Vigier from mFoundry as mobile payments product manager, it seems possible that Apple could be planning to open up to mobile commerce.
Using it the iPhone for payment seems to be a good idea for Apple, which has 150 million credit cards already hooked up to iTunes accounts, as CEO Steve Jobs announced in June to its annual meeting of developers. There are applications being built for iOS devices as well as Android and other platforms that enable mobile payment, so building in a contactless payments feature makes sense and has been tested and used in other countries like Japan.
Do you think the iPhone will be the first to implement NFC or will an Android phone beat them to the punch?