iPhone 5 and iPad 2 to be your digital wallet
If you thought last weeks news that you can now buy Starbucks coffee with an iPhone was cool, this is even cooler. According to Bloomberg, iPhone 5 and iPad 2 will both feature “Near-Field Communications” technology that allows the devices to become a digital wallet. Thanks to the built-in NFC chip, your iPhone will be able to access credit cards, bank accounts, and gift card balances already on file with Apple, allowing you to make any purchase directly from the phone.
In terms of the timeline, Bloomberg says the technology is “due to be embedded in the next iteration of the iPhone for AT&T Inc. and the iPad 2″ and that “Both products are likely to be introduced this year… citing engineers who are working on hardware for the Apple project.”
Most rumors put the iPad 2 release in April and iPhone 5 in June, keeping in line with Apple’s past release schedules, but what about in-store infrastructure? According to the report, Apple has already created prototype NFC payment terminals that they may subsidize to encourage rapid nationwide adoption of the technology.
I’m wondering if the NFC data will be accessible for third party app developers, if so, this could completely change the face of mobile banking, transactions, gift cards, and so much more. Owe your friend $5? Imagine being able to send it directly to his bank account with a few taps on your phone. Consider this all a rumor for now, but hopefully Bloomberg is right about this one.