Google Helping to Prepare the Market for NFC iPhone 5

Industry observers have noted that Apple doesn't feel the need to be the first one to bring some new technology or gadget to the market. However, when the Cupertino-based company does introduce a device or feature, Apple really delivers and often gives it a new spin.

It happened before with iPad entering late onto the tablet market before crushing all competition, then more recently with Siri taking voice control to the next level, and it could happen again with NFC mobile payment technology, ComputerWorld suggests.

Google has already implemented this technology having released Google Wallet, which enables electronic payments with the tap of an Android device. A scanning terminal will recognise the NFC device and register a payment. Visa and Mastercard are already onboard and security protocols are in place.

However, the biggest challenge for NFC mobile payments is the lack of infrastructure. There are very few terminals at present, though some companies have agreed to experiment with the NFC payment processing systems, including: The Container Store, Foot Locker, Guess, Jamba Juice, Macy's, OfficeMax, Toys 'R' Us and American Eagle.

Smaller merchants will certainly need some convincing to invest in expensive equipment.

Under the circumstances, Apple is probably being quite astute by waiting for a more mature market (and letting Google do all the legwork), before looking to integrate NFC into the iPhone 5 which should arrive in the first half of 2012.