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iPhone 5 rumor rollup for the week ending Feb. 2

John Cox | Feb. 3, 2012
That noise echoing through the iOSsphere is the sound of Chinese workers clamoring to be allowed to build the Next iPhone.

iPhone 5 will use NFC link to support Mastercard/Paypass

9to5Mac puts 2 and 3 together and comes up with 4. "Mastercard/Paypass to be NFC partner with Apple on iPhone 5?

At Macworld last week, 9to5Mac's Sean Weinbtraub talked to a "well-connected developer" who was building an iOS app that can use the short-range Near Field Communications radio link that lets mobile devices tap a point-of-sale terminal and do stuff like make electronic purchases. Or as the U.K.'s irrepressible The Register calls it, "pay-by-bonk tech."

Weintraub reports that the developer says that "he had no hardware knowledge, but he had spoken to Apple iOS engineers on multiple occasions, and they are 'heavy into NFC.'"

Having settled that, Weintraub notes "The question is now: Who will Apple partner with for its payment systems? Over the weekend we received some hints..."

The hints come via Weintraub's quotes from and link to a Fast Company interview with Ed McLaughlin, identified as head of emerging payments at MasterCard, who says "I don't know of a handset manufacturer that isn't in process of making sure their stuff is [MasterCard] PayPass ready."

The interviewer asks whether the contactless payments industry needs Apple to hit critical mass. "Well, anytime someone with a major base moves forward, it advances what you're doing. So of course," McLaughlin says. It's hard to imagine a more generic answer, but in the iOSphere, that's all you need for transformation.

"Apple, of course, has the magical ability to transform whole industries," writes Fast Company's Austin Carr, referring no doubt to Steve Jobs' rumored use of the "Harry Potter Wand with light and sound," now just $8.09 from Amazon.com. "No one paid for music digitally before Apple unveiled iTunes; virtually no one listened to MP3 players, or carried smartphones, or played with tablets before Apple entered the markets. (And we have good reason to believe they are angling into wireless payment territory.)"

Carr oversimplifies the development of iTunes, which required extensive negotiations with the record labels, who were under pressure to come up with some kind of strategy for digitized content. (The details are analyzed in Robert Levine's excellent recent book "Free Ride: How Digital Parasites are Destroying the Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back".) The mobile payments industry essentially requires a secure interface with a secureable mobile device, a far different issue than that facing the music industry.

iPhone 5 will have shared data plans

At least that seems to be the point of a somewhat confusing post at The Appera, "where iPhone and iPad gaming take spotlight."

The start of this rumor seems to be an Engadget post by Sean Buckley, who apparently was pointed to some purported Verizon Wireless employee training materials showing a new data account structure.

 

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