Apple dampen NFC wild fire

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Apple has rejected plans to include NFC chips in the next generation of iPhones, preferring to wait until a clear industry standard has emerged, according to anonymous sources quoted by UK broadsheet, the Independent.

Sources at several of the largest mobile operators in the UK told the paper that Apple had disclosed in meetings that it would not be including ‘wave and pay’ technology in either the iPhone 4GS or the upcoming iPhone 5.

One source close to the discussions said: “The new iPhone will not have NFC, Apple told the operators it was concerned by the lack of a clear standard across the industry.”

The source said that Apple is instead working on a limited, closed-loop proposition that would link mobile payments through iTunes.

If confirmed, Apple’s decision to hold fire on NFC will leave the field clear for Google and the card schemes to forge ahead with their own mobile deployments. Nonetheless, Apple’s absence from the scene will discourage the hopes of m-payment proponents for a near-term mass-market move to the new technology.

That said, in a recent interview with MPW, Peter Ayliffe, CEO, Visa Europe, suggested that the card network was working heavily on its mobile strategy and that he expected mobile contactless payments to be prevalent in the UK in time for the Olympic Games. Whilst some will see Apples rejection of the technology as a set back there are a number of other very large organisations working towards large scale commercial deployments in 2011.