What is NFC?
Just a post as I've been frustrated on the amount of confusion and misinformation regarding NFC functionality.
First of all, NFC isn't just a mobile payment technology and not all mobile payment technology is NFC, in fact, the majority aren't.
NFC is just one of the standards to facilitate mobile payment and one that lets people do it by briskly touching the payment terminal with your phone or other NFC enabled device. And even then, NFC itself is only a hardware and the amount of payment system it can support depends on the software protocol the OS/app can support.
This part of NFC, we can all agree is NOT widely adapted by market, NOT ready for prime time and therefore, perhaps not too important to most people, at least today.
What NFC really is is it's a technology standard that enables "Near Field Communication" as its name stands for. It excels at sending short blips of information upon physical contact or being brought together closely, usually no farther than a few centimetres. While it's most prominent/famous use would be for mobile payments/wallet, it has more uses than that, including starting connections between devices for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections to send bigger data, faster, over longer distance than NFC itself is capable of.
This secondary usage is used for features like Android beam that lets NFC capable devices to seemingly "beam" large amount of information between each other without additional setup, or to pair accessories like Nokia and Sony showed with their NFC docks and headphones.
Why am I posting this on Apple Core? Because there's been so much confusions/ignorance on what NFC really is and how much iPhone is behind because of lack of it or doesn't need it has been getting out of hand.
As a summary:
-NFC mobile payments is not widespread, especially not in North America (yet) and even then, there may be possibly conflict of interest between competing standards like Isis and Google Wallet (I'm willing to bet that Apple's going to create their very own if they do put NFC on iPhones)
-NFC can also be used for other things like transit payments, airport check-ins, loyalty/gift cards, but those functions can be also provided by Passbook, but Only IF the responsible companies develop for Passbook.
-iPhone have and still features Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity as with many other devices, but not having NFC means that it will miss out on cool and probably convenient perk of being able to initiate connections by merely touching those devices. (Provided that NFC-capable devices start showing up in the market and you buy them of course. I mean, those affordable Thunderbolt accessories are just pouring out the flood gates after all right?)
That's about all I can think of right now. If I've missed anything, or if it cleared your head a bit, please leave a comment.