Apple missed the chance to lead in near-field communications: Analyst

iPhone 5 would have been better with NFC capabilities, according to a Telsyte analyst.

Apple has missed an opportunity to lead the industry in the development of near-field communications (NFC) by omitting these capabilities in its latest iPhone 5, according to Telsyte senior analyst Rodney Gedda.

This technology enables smartphones to communicate with other devices containing an NFC tag. It enables users to purchase goods and services by waving their smartphones over a reader or simply “bumping” against another device to share content.

According to Gedda, NFC technology provides real opportunity to change the way people interact with their devices and payment systems they use every day.

“It’s a shame in the sense that Apple could have lead the industry in that regard by integrating it [near-field communications] into the device and allowing developers to develop applications for it so you could have seen NFC take off in a big way,” he said.

“A lot of the infrastructure around NFC is starting to be built out like payment systems and the ability transfer [content] between phones. It’s like back in the day when Wi-Fi was seen as a high-end [technology] and now it’s standard – we are going to see NFC go the same way.”

He said Apple has the developer ecosystem to create software and services that run on NFC-enabled hardware.

“Right now we are resorting to third-party, aftermarket products; if these capabilities are built into the device, it’s going to be much easier,” he said. “It would have been good to see [these capabilities] in iPhone 5, that’s for sure.”

Gedda said the new iPhone 5 features, such as a thinner, more powerful phone with a larger screen size, were expected “roadmap features”, adding that consumer presume that their devices will get more powerful with each new upgrade.

“Apple has an advantage over other vendors, its user base is loyal, there’s no reason to believe that this [upgrade] will not be a success,” he said.

“What will be interesting to see is Apple redefine the iPhone again. It has led the industry with [previous iPhone generations] but now we are just seeing incremental upgrades – it would be good to see Apple go to market with a product more revolutionary that what it has already [supplied].”

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