Why no NFC in iPhone 5 ?

You might have seen this concern on numerous posts after the official launch of iPhone 5.

When we look at the bigger picture it’s “Passbook” that fits in perfectly. NFC is just ONE of the enablers for it. May be until Apple has an ecosystem like iTunes for mobile payments NFC will not come to Apple Mobile Devices.

What could be reason why Apple deferred this promising feature from their much awaited iPhone 5?
NFC is promising but how mature is it? Known adoption of this feature is very limited other that a few commercial outlets introducing their own application – like Starbucks.

Apple is famous for building ecosystems around their products. And I feel something similar is going to happen around this feature also. Take the case of the iTunes store. iPods could have ended up like any other music player. But it sustained and continued to sell because of the ecosystem. Regular updates to this product line happens only because the ecosystem which it is part of generates revenue when users purchase content. Upgrading existing headphones bundled with iPods & iPhones to Earpods, also, I feel is tied around this business pitch. So any product or feature build to a Product line continues to receive updates as long as it is tied to an ecosystem which justifies the upgrade.
So coming back to NFC. Apple will wait until it matures or until they invent an ecosystem which is linked to cash flow. They are already gearing up for this. The Passbook app could be the first step. This app has already started receiving support from consumer centric companies. While this app continues to rack up support from more, Apple will be parallelly developing an ecosystem. Once this ecosystem is ready, you will find NFC on Apple Devices and Passbook app with added support to NFC also. At that moment their non-NFC mobile models which support Passbook can still utilize this ecosystem as well as the new models with NFC.
So the decision to delay the addition of NFC could be
  • To avoid burdening the user with an increase in price or decrease in Apple’s margin by introduction of a feature that is not of much use.
  • NFC doesn’t justify until a cash generating ecosystem is in place.
We have seen in this industry, where companies overwhelm users by introducing new features which are hardly used or find any application in our day-to-day life. So let Apple or its competitors create something innovative which can see wide range application of at least one new tech that our phones boost off.