Despite repeated rumours to the contrary, it appears that Apple won't be fitting the iPhone 5 with Near Field Communication technology - saving that addition for the iPhone 6, expected in 2012.
While mobile operators were confirming Apple's plans for NFC in the iPhone 5, which would allow users to make contactless payments using their handsets in the same way as Google Nexus S owners, as recently as February at the Mobile World Congress, the latest news is that Apple is passing the technology over for this generation.
According to multiple mobile operator sources quoted by The Independent today, the iPhone 5 will not be getting NFC technology - apparently due to Apple's concern over the lack of an industry-wide standard.
NFC, which is an ultra-short range wireless communication system similar to RFID but capable of two-way data transfer, is though by many to be the next big thing in the advertising and mobile payment markets - so much so, in fact, that analysts are predicting that by 2015 around £95 billion in payments will be taken via suitably-equipped mobile hardware.
With Google having taken the first leap, introducing full NFC support into Android 2.3.3 and adding the required hardware to its Samsung-manufactured Nexus S handset, Apple risks being left behind should it choose a wait-and-see approach to the technology.