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Monday, March 14, 2011, 04:40 am PT (07:40 am ET)

Wireless NFC e-wallet won't be a part of Apple's iPhone 5 - rumor

Apple has allegedly decided to abandon the inclusion of a wireless near-field communication e-wallet in its forthcoming iPhone 5, expected for release this summer.

Citing sources with "several" mobile operators in the U.K., The Independent reported Monday that Apple recently held meetings in which it disclosed it will not include NFC technology in the next iPhone. The inclusion of NFC technology like radio-frequency identification, or RFID, can allow mobile devices to serve as an electronic wallet, letting users authorize transactions without using their credit card.

In January, it was claimed that Apple was finalizing NFC technology for both the iPhone 5 and iPad 2. But the iPad 2 arrived last week without any support for NFC.

Apple allegedly told British mobile operators that it is concerned that there is a lack of a clear standard across the mobile industry for e-wallet payments. The report also indicated that Apple still hopes to include NFC technology in the supposed iPhone 6, expected to debut in Apple's annual summer timeframe in 2012.

While the iPhone 5 will reportedly not include NFC technology, Google's flagship Nexus S, released late last year, did include a NFC chip for short-range wireless data transmission. However, its use has failed to gain any mainstream traction.

As recently as this January, Apple has been looking to hire experts on RFID and mobile payments, adding to numerous rumors that Apple plans to add NFC support to the iPhone. But that interest is not new, as it was reported in 2009 that Apple was already testing RFID technology in a prototype handset.