Google is likely to bite the bullet and bring its e-commerce Wallet service to the iPhone 5 should Apple decide to add that feature to the smartphone.
In a stark display of real-politik, Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, told an audience at the Cannes Lions Advertising festival that it would bring the technology to any vendor including Apple.
Google can already count on its own Nexus S as the first handset to support Google Wallet natively. Other mobile phone manufacturers like Samsung and LG are likely to follow suit by adding Near Field Communications silicon to their handsets.
In addition, Google is already looking forward to pushing the technology into the retail market, with Google's former chairman predicting that over the next 12 months, a third of shops and restaurants, presumably in the US, will accept the "tap and pay" payment method.
He added that payment processors are likely to embrace the technology with even more enthusiasm, because they will be keen to reduce fraud rates and NFC-based payment systems make sense being intrinsically safer than normal credit cards.
Schmidt stated, "How long does it take an infrastructure player to upgrade a significant percentage of their infrastructure? It's on the order of a year, it's not a week, it's not a month but it's also not five years".