Apple iPhone 5 to Give NFC the Miss, Rumor Hints at Adoption of Bluetooth 4.0

July 22, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Just a while ago we brought to you grapevine murmur that spoke of the an early arrival of the iPhone 5. Even as speculations are being debated in tech circles, we see the little bird fly to us yet again to tell us more about the next generation iPhone. And, this one talks of the much discussed Near Field Communications technology and how Apple is going about it.

As you all know, NFC is being integrated by many a mobile maker into their devices, so as to let users to pay for things in stores using their devices. Even as NFC integration is being tried out by rivals, Apple seems to be thinking different.

The rumor mills have it that the iPhone 5, expected sometime before August, will put to use Bluetooth 4.0, and thereby give NFC the miss.

The rumor mongering may be attributed to the fact that Bluetooth 4.0 is deployed by the new MacBook Air and Mac Mini 2011 editions. As you all know, this specification had been adopted officially a year ago, and so the iPhone 5 too would opt for that.

In case you are wondering as to how that would work in this particular domain, we hear Bluetooth 4.0 comes with Bluetooth Low Energy spec inside and that lets communication between Bluetooth devices by spending less power. Going by what the guys at ITProPortal say, Bluetooth 4.0 will be able to work using one hundredth of the power output of older Bluetooth specifications. That could well mean Apple will stick with Bluetooth 4.0 when it comes to the iPhone 5 too.

If you tend to look a little deeper into it, you will also understand that the adoption of Bluetooth 4.0 will offer a much longer range  – of may be up to 200m, 128-bit AES with Counter Mode CBC-MAC and application layer user defined security and 6ms latency compared with 100ms offered by classic Bluetooth.

However, we are yet to come to terms with the low transfer rate that Bluetooth 4.0 might offer. May be, Apple has an answer, but hasn’t said anything about that.

Rumors tend to be rumors, but we wouldn’t want to write this off completely. However, let’s wait to hear from Cupertino on that in detail. Stay tuned.

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