NFC, or Near Field Communication, has gained some traction in mobile devices as of late. Speculation now says that while NFC was previously rumored in the iPhone 5, it just isn’t possible.The release of the iPhone 5 is still pending, so anything could happen with the device, but the fact that NFC may be included was denied by Anandtech. Here is what Brian Klug and Anand Lal Shimpi had to say about the possibility of NFC (via iMore):
Given the primarily metal backside of the new iPhone, it’s highly unlikely that NFC is in the cards for this generation. In fact, given the very little space at top and bottom dedicated to those glass RF windows, you can almost entirely rule it out.
The market for NFC in device is really in mobile payments. Google has been working hard to implement NFC payments, via Google Wallet, for a long time now. The idea that a user can simply pull out their phone and use it like a credit card is nice but so far has proven nearly fruitless.
iOS 6 does include a new feature called Passbook that acts similarly to Google Wallet, but is exclusive to tickets and vouchers. If Apple were to work on some type of NFC transfer technology, it would likely work similarly to NFC but be a different technology entirely.