Leaked photos of iPhone 5 parts show NFC chip

The drip-feed of iPhone 5 rumours and leaks should soon be turning into a full-blown deluge, as we move within two weeks of the smartphone’s expected launch on 12 September.

The latest photo evidence of the new model emerges from the rumour hotbed of the Chinese blogosphere and relates to the phone’s purported inclusion of near field communication, or NFC, technology.

It has been speculated for some time that the next iPhone will have the feature integrated, which enables devices to establish radio communication by touching them together or bringing them within close proximity. Reports in May suggested the technology could be used to share digital gifts between users, with the sender picking up the tab for downloadable media files.

The new photos, published on Chinese blog Apple.pro and picked up on Apple Insider, appear to show a complete front assembly with the red box highlighting what many believe is the iPhone’s freshly-installed NFC radio. The images provide the strongest indication yet that the phone will indeed include the technology, which could open the product up to a raft of intriguing new features as a result.

The leak follows last week’s offerings from the rumour-mill, that served up a video apparently examining the front panel and various interior parts of the new iPhone. "The quality, build and markings suggest that they are accurate," said a source on the clip.

With Everything Everywhere getting the go-ahead for its 4G rollout the day before the alleged iPhone release date, there is also speculation that the device would run on the new network, as the UK prepares to take advantage of 4G LTE smartphones for the first time.