iPhone 5: the Case for NFC

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When rumors for the new iPhone 5 started circulating, not many caught my attention. LTE was kind of obvious because of its implementation in the New iPad. The longer screen just confused me. Why longer? Why not just larger in general? Better camera? Of course, Apple has upgraded the camera on every iPhone model so far.

There was one that kept coming back to me though and it kept coming back to me at the strangest times. For example, whenever I swiped my debit card for gas, coffee, or groceries or crammed into my pockets for my large wallet and shuffling through the different reward cards that I had consumed it. NFC was something I started yearning for.

I started seeing the NFC readers on top of credit card machines everywhere! Walmart, Albertsons, and even McDonalds! I wanted so desperate to just set my phone on the oddly shaped dome structure to purchase my Sweet Iced Tea and McChicken with a side of buffalo sauce. Every time I did though, I just looked stupid and nothing happened.

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When Passbook was announced in the preview for iOS 6, it confused a lot of people. In the live blog, The Verge was quoted by saying, "Is Apple answering a question no one asked with this one? Possibly. Or this will change your life." I always thought there was much more to Passbook than meets the eye, and spent countless times watching the video to find something they might've forgotten to cover up that would lead to NFC. Obviously NFC and Passbook would get along tremendously.

There was a time when the rumor for NFC was in full swing, and people were getting excited. I, for one, tried every solution to combine my wallet with my iPhone, almost to mentally prepare myself for the fact that I might never have to lug the ridiculous slab of leather around. I tried a simple wallet case that held two cards and shut with a magnetic latch, but it ended up destroying the strip on all my cards. I tried the ID case, but it was only able to hold two cards at a time and they were a pain in the butt to get out when I needed to use them and usually resulted in the person behind the counter giving me strange looks. Finally, I ended stripping my iPhone of any case and I now carry around my cards and cash loosely alongside it.

But then a "report" was released that debunked the NFC rumor, saying there was no way it was coming with the next iPhone announcement. Then a leaked photo showed a chip that no one recognized at the top of the phone, and those yearning for NFC were cheering once more as the previous "report" was debunked. Then another report said that the chip was definitely not NFC hardware, as the rumored metal back would interfere with it. This didn't make sense to me because the chip was behind the glass part of the two-tone backing, but still sent me in a downward spiral where I was imaging the day that Apple announced the new iPhone 5 and never mentioned NFC. I would be stuck with my stupid NFC-less new iPhone and a pocketful of credit cards and loose cash that was just begging for some bum to steal off of me.

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Honestly the whole thing was like an episode of TMZ. All the he-said she-said crap just hurt my brain. Now NFC is one of the features that falls in the "probably not" category of things the iPhone 5 will have and I'm just hoping that Apple surprises us. NFC and iWallet would change our lives, as the Verge put it. It would gear us toward a generation where minimalism reigned with the modern consumer. It would make so many things easier, things we've probably haven't even thought of yet. And isn't that the point of the iPhone? To make our lives easier? I think so.

That's why I'll be team NFC come September 12th. I'll even be ready to burn my rejected iPhone cases that posed as wallet solutions when it happens. As for my actually leather wallet? That'll be stored safely away until I can show my kids what we use to carry around with us just to purchase things. It'll be a piece of history, but something I'll hold close as it was a gift from my grandmother, and the first wallet I ever owned.

Hopefully it'll be the last.