CUPERTINO, CA -- Rumors about a forthcoming announcement from Apple Inc. say that an NFC chip supporting mobile payments will be a "hallmark feature" on the company's next-generation iPhone. Sources say the new system will allow owners of the new iPhone 6 to use the smartphone in place of credit or debit cards to pay for goods at brick-and-mortar stores.
Near-field communications chips have been whispered to become part of the iPhone lineup in recent years, but next week's anticipated iPhone 6 unveiling on Sept. 9 in Cupertino, CA, could see Apple finally enter the mobile payments space in a big way.
The mobile wallet rumor, reported by Wire, was revealed around the same time that AppleInsider discovered a new patent application last week that described using an NFC chip to allow inductive, cordless charging on mobile devices. The patent filing describes a device that can employ NFC antennae to double as inductors for charging, negating the need to duplicate any hardware.
While such companies as Google, Isis (used in vending) and Square have made some inroads into NFC payments technology, experts say Apple is uniquely positioned to go further. To date, the company has collected more than 800 million credit card customers on file through its iTunes and App Store businesses. Apple is also rumored to have already reached deals with American Express, Visa and Mastercard, as well as several major retailers.