Apple: No NFC for You! Come Back, One Year! Maybe!

When is an NFC antenna not an NFC antenna? When it's reportedly attached to an iPhone 5. Contrary to recent speculation, Apple's newest handset will not feature an NFC payment system.

While NFC, or Near Field Communications technology has recently gained traction in the marketplace—mobile payments worldwide are expected to top $170 billion by the end of the year—services such as Google Wallet, Square, and Citibank PayPass are still far from ubiquitous. Despite Apple's massive market reach, with more than 250 million iPhones residing in American pockets and 400 million active credit cards on file, the Cupertino company appears to have adopted a wait-and-see approach, deferring to its competitors to shoulder the risks inherent to NFC's early implementation. Just like it has for the past three years.

Instead, the Passbook app for iOS 6, which was widely speculated as the software backbone for any presumed NFC service, will utilize QR codes for the foreseeable future. No, seriously, QR codes.

Image: Ars Technica