Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 03:28 pm PT (06:28 pm ET)
Apple's Phil Schiller explains lack of NFC and inductive charging in iPhone 5In an interview directly following Apple's unveiling of the iPhone 5, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller detailed why the company chose not to include NFC and wireless charging capabilities in the new handset, and goes over the significance of the new Lightning port.
Before the iPhone 5 debuted, there were back and forth reports (1, 2) regarding whether the new handset would implement near-field communication, the radio technology some companies use to facilitate eWallet transactions. Some speculated that Apple would incorporate NFC tech into its upcoming Passbook app, though the rumors were quashed at Wednesday's event.
Apple SVP Phil Schiller
Schiller told All Things D that the decision not to include NFC actually stemmed from Passbook, which he said "does the kinds of things customer need today." The app, which organizes digital tickets, coupons and more, will roll out with iOS 6 on Sept. 19.
On the inductive charging front, Schiller pointed out the perceived convenience of such systems are questionable given they too need to be plugged into an outlet. The USB interface, however, can be plugged into walls, computers and airplanes.
Having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated, Schiller said.
Extending the discussion of dock connectors, Schiller explained that the Lightning port was a necessity in launching the new iPhone 5 and iPods. He said it wasn't possible to build such thin products without changing the connector from the 30-pin design first introduced in 2003.
This is the new connector for many years to come, Schiller said.
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