Apple will not include "wave and pay" chips in the new iPhone to be released later this year, dashing industry hopes that a universal standard for the technology would be adopted in 2011.
Sources at several of the largest mobile operators in the UK revealed Apple had disclosed in meetings that it would not be including Near Field Communication (NFC) technology – which enables payment for products with a wave of your phone on a reader – in the latest version of the iPhone, be it the iPhone 4GS or the iPhone 5.
One source close to the discussions said: "The new iPhone will not have NFC, Apple told the operators it was concerned by the lack of a clear standard across the industry." Yet Apple is understood to be working on its own NFC proposition, which would link payments through iTunes. It hopes to introduce the technology in a handset likely to be released next year.
Consulting group Frost & Sullivan believes payment values via NFC will hit €110bn by 2015 and Google chief executive Eric Schmidt recently said the technology would "revolutionise payments". This year has seen Google launch the Nexus S, which contains NFC technology, and the short-range wireless technology was backed by the GSMA, the mobile industry trade body last month.
Chairman Franco Bernabe said it represents "an important innovation opportunity, and will facilitate a wide range of services and applications".
Yet the stakeholders, from mobile operators and handset makers to retailers are not agreed on the standards for widespread adoption. Carolina Milanesi, analyst at Gartner, said: "Nokia has talked about this for years and nothing happened. When Google and Apple talk about it, NFC will happen."