Apple really seems to have created a pretty amazing device in the iPhone 5, but that doesn’t mean it’s got everything customers are looking for. Specifically, two features that have been rising in popularity that didn’t make it to the sixth-generation iPhone are near field communications (NFC) and wireless charging.
For those that don’t know, NFC is the technology that allows users to tap a credit card (or select smartphones) on a receiver to transfer information instead of swiping the magnetic strip. There are many situations where this sort of tech would be useful, and with Apple’s ticketing and gift-carding Passbook application, it seems like NFC and the iPhone 5 would be a perfect match. However, Apple chose not to include the technology. According to Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller, this is because, “it’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem… Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today.”
I must say that I agree with Schiller on this point. Passbook’s functionality is perfectly fine without NFC. Sure, it would have been a nice touch, but I can’t say that it’s absence is a glaring omission. What’s more, seeing as NFC in smartphones is still relatively new, it’s not very surprising that Apple opted not to utilize it just yet. If past iPhones have taught us anything, it’s that Apple absolutely will not adopt new, third-party technology until it’s been perfected and there is a huge market demand for it.
Schiller also had something to say about wireless charging. Basically, he believes that USB-based charging is still the most convenient method of juicing up our devices just because it’s so widely available – you can charge your iPhone via USB through a computer, through a plug in the wall, and even in airplanes. What’s more, wireless charging isn’t exactly wireless. Something still needs to be plugged into the wall, even if it’s not your smartphone, and, “having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated.”
That’s why Apple chose to modernize its 30-pin dock connector instead of ditching it for a wireless alternative. And while this may initially seem a bit inconvenient as well, rest assured that the new Lightning connector is, “the new connector for many years to come.”
How do you feel about the lack of wireless charging and NFC in the iPhone 5? Sound off in the comments section below or on twitter @TiP_Jake.