The forthcoming iPhone 5 won't have any near field technology technology at launch because there is a lack of a clear standard across the mobile industry.
The Independent understands that mobile phone operators across the UK have been told that NFC would not be included in the iPhone 5 although it is not clear whether the feature might be disabled for the time being.
The Wireless Hotspot functionality for example always existed on the iPhone 4 but was only recently enabled using the latest firmware, iOS 4.3. Likewise, it may well be that Apple decides to integrate NFC technology in the iPhone 5 but only enables it when the time is right.
One source told the Independent that Apple hopes to introduce it in a handset, possibly the iPhone 6, to be released in 2012. In addition, the newspaper raises the possibility of Apple coming up with its own NFC proposal, something which could be leveraged using the installed user base for iTunes.
This could also lead to Apple trying to enroll merchants in its own proprietary technology thereby stifling any attempt to come up with competing "wave and pay" solutions.
Google integrated NFC support natively in the latest Google Gingerbread and there are already two handsets, the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Google Nexus S which have NFC features. Nokia already has a number of handsets using NFC technology as well.