NFC-iPhone

It seems like we have a pretty good idea of what to expect, in terms of appearance, for the iPhone 6. Several reports have pointed to the handset having a larger display and a new iPad-like design, and most of the leaked cases and components we’ve seen thus far match up with that.

But when it comes to features and functionality of the new iPhone, things aren’t so clear. The latest of a number of scattershot reports comes from VentureBeat, which cites sources saying that the device will have built-in support for NFC tech, wireless charging capabilities, and more…

VentureBeat’s Mark Sullivan reports:

The iPhone 6, which will launch this fall, will contain several highly-anticipated features, including near field communication (NFC), wireless charging, a better 4G antenna, and a much bigger screen, a source close to the situation tells VentureBeat.

The new iPhone is nearing completion and is now being tested for things like durability, speed, and network performance. […]

Our source warns that while these features are part of the iPhone 6 design now, Apple has in the past removed major device features at the last minute before debut. The NFC radio in the new iPhone 6, for example, might be at risk of being zapped by Apple at the last minute if it decides the mobile payments ecosystem is still not ready.

Sullivan is correct when he says that Apple has in the past removed major features from the iPhone at the last minute. In 2012, it was reported that late-stage iPhone 5 prototypes had NFC (near field communication) chips, but they were pulled from the handset ahead of mass production.

That Apple is ready to pull the trigger on NFC is interesting—particularly when you look at ongoing speculation that it’s working on a mobile payment system. It’s also notable considering that just a few years ago, the company’s Phil Schiller questioned the need for the wireless technology.

iphone 6 backalleged iPhone 6 shell

Schiller has also downplayed wireless charging systems in the past, saying that because they still have to be plugged into the wall, “it’s not clear how much convenience they add.” VentureBeat doesn’t say which system the iPhone 6 will use, but the tech has come a long way in recent years.

To round out his report, Sullivan reaffirms previous rumors that this year’s iPhone will feature a larger display and improved LTE. He doesn’t say when Apple plans on unveiling the handset, but the consensus is that it’ll make its debut at an event sometime in the fall—most likely September.