iphone 4 cases“In May 2010 we were shown Apple’s iPhone roadmap in respect to their forthcoming e-Wallet and Shopping companion Apps,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Applications that will require Apple to present the market with new NFC (Near Field Communications) enabled iPhones sometime in 2011 (if we’re lucky),” Purcher reports. “In todays patent report we’ll explore a new Apple patent that reveals that NFC is going even deeper into the next generation iPhone.”

Purcher reports, “Today, Apple introduces ‘Products +’ a generic name for a future ‘benefit management application.’ The idea behind the patent is that Apple will work with participating vendors – be they a trendy coffee vendor or electronics or book retailer – so that their packaging will sport an NFC tag. This tag will be able to be read by a user’s NFC enabled iPhone which could in return surprise the user with hidden benefits ranging from free merchandise to free music and a lot of options in-between. The benefits angle to an NFC enabled iPhone could tip the scale in a any given sale and I think that this has the potential of being an explosively hot feature to kick off the NFC revolution on the iPhone.”

Read more in the full article, which includes real-world use examples and Apple patent application illustrations, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]