How NFC could fit into Apple’s iPhone 5

“Earlier this week, a new feature shown in images of a purported iPhone 5 could mean that the iPhone 5 could come with NFC,” Sarah Clark reports for NFC World. “But an analysis by Anandtech of those images and other information believed to be known about the latest Apple device leads them to conclude there is no room for an NFC antenna in the new iPhone. ‘Given the primarily metal backside of the new iPhone, it’s highly unlikely that NFC is in the cards for this generation,’ they say. ‘In fact, given the very little space at top and bottom dedicated to those glass RF windows, you can almost entirely rule it out.'”

“A patent application filed by Apple in December 2007, however, suggests that the iPhone maker could find other ways to add NFC to the device,” Clark reports. “The ‘Touch Screen RFID Tag Reader’ patent describes a method of building an antenna into a touch screen, thus avoiding the issue of a metal back interfering with the signal.”

Clark reports, “A second patent granted in July 2011, meanwhile, covers the addition of an NFC antenna to electronic devices with metal elements. ‘Electronic device with conductive housing and near field antenna’ covers a variety of ways in which NFC could be added to a metal-backed iPhone 5 without causing signal issues.”

Read more in the full article here.

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10 Comments

  1. I really don’t see why analysts are getting so het up about the iPhone 5 having NFC fitted. There might be places where such tech is commonplace, but AFAIAA, the UK and Europe aren’t among them, same as 4G. The only common NFC usage in the UK is the Oyster travelcard used in London, which I use when there, and one or two smaller systems. So far there are no widespread usages in shops or other retail areas, and I don’t know of widespread use in Europe, and I’m not even sure about the US.
    The UK won’t even be auctioning the frequencies for 4G until next year, so that’s something else the US-centric commentators should play down their obsession with, it’s just not widespread enough globally to make a fuss about.

    1. You’re right, Rorschach, NFC is not a big deal. Just like USB was not a big deal …until Apple adopted it. just like point-and-click was no big deal …until Apple adopted it. Just like the tablet format was dead in the water …until Apple adopted it.

      They don’t always get it right. Firewire never caught on. But when they do get it right, the rest of the industry follows, about three years later.

      1. JUNE 2012,

        two pre-production devices, codenamed N41AP and N42AP, and says of information it has seen, “further investigation into this hardware code dump leads us to believe that these iPhones also have near field communication (NFC) controllers directly connected to the power management unit (PMU).”

  2. I don’t know?…use the extra space they gained by switching out the 30-pin connector in favor of a 9 pin connector that renders hundreds of dollars worth of third party iPhone accessories useless?!?!?!

    Just kidding, I know it’s not a question of physical space…it’s a question of when they can sell a billion iPhone 5s without NFC and then update three months later to the “iPhone 5s-Niner-+tax-special-“I need a new yacht with rims-RED edition-for Cancer” Edition

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