Apple's iPad 2 and iPhone 5 will include technology for wireless mobile payments, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
Apple will enable the iPad 2 and iPhone 5 to make wireless
purchases, according to an online report.
Richard Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering
Group, told Bloomberg Jan. 25 that the next-generation iPad and iPhone will
feature payment technology leveraging NFC (near
field communication), which allows close-range wireless communication between
arch-rival Google has already included NFC capability
in its Android 2.3
build, available on smartphones such as the Samsung Nexus S.
Doherty used unnamed "engineers who are working on hardware
for the Apple project" as his source, according to paraphrasing in the
, and suggested the payment service would begin "as early
as mid-2011." In theory, the next iPad and iPhone could tap an owner's bank or
credit-card account directly, allowing purchases with a single tap or swipe of
If Apple indeed introduces a mobile-payment service based on
NFC, it would have tech-world competition besides Google: Research In Motion co-CEO
Jim Balsillie recently suggested that his company was considering
NFC technology for its own products.
Apple itself remains predictably closed-lipped about any
upcoming products. If it follows past years' product launch dates, however, the
next-generation iPad will make its debut in April, with the new iPhone
following in June or July. Apple CEO Steve Jobs' recent leave of absence,
reportedly for health reasons, means that some other executive-most likely COO
Tim Cook, who continues to run the company's day-to-day operations in his
boss's absence-will conduct the actual unveiling of both products.
In any case, rumors are flying fast and furious about the
possible new features in Apple's upcoming products. In a Jan. 12 posting, for
example, the blog Boy Genius Report suggested that the next version of the iPad
will lack a home button, and instead rely on multi-touch gestures to navigate
the home screen. Meanwhile, a small debate has erupted over whether the iPad 2
or even iPad 3 will
feature the company's proprietary high-resolution Retina Display
"I think the DigiTimes story probably got the resolution
right, but the iPad version wrong," IDC research manager Tom Mainelli reportedly
told PC World
, referencing a Jan. 20 article in DigiTimes suggesting the
iPad 2's resolution would be 2048 x 1536. "Our sources say Apple has requested
that manufacturers begin work on displays with that resolution for iPad 3."
NFC technology, along with new hardware additions, would
possibly help Apple blunt increased competition from other manufacturers intent
on breaking into the tablet market. RIM is
planning to release a 7-inch tablet, the PlayBook, and companies such as
Motorola have Android-based tablets slated to hit store
shelves over the next several quarters.