7 July 2012Wall Street Journal:
Holding back in mobile payments was a deliberate strategy, the result of deep discussion last year. Some Apple engineers argued for a more-aggressive approach that would integrate payments more directly.
But Apple executives chose the go-slow approach for now. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the decision-making process. Apple’s head of world-wide marketing, Phil Schiller, in an interview last month, said that digital-wallet mobile-payment services are “all fighting over their piece of the pie, and we aren’t doing that.”
On the basis of this article, I reckon that the next iPhone will have NFC but it won’t have support for mobile payments. It’ll be used for a more elegant execution of Passbook, for instance, but the iPhone 5 won’t become your wallet.
Next year, or whenever, Apple decides to enter the mobile payment market properly, Apple can then push a software update containing the functionality, which the iPhone 5 will be in a perfect position to use, as it already has the NFC chip inside. This means that when Apple enters the merchant space, they will already have a large base of customers who can exploit their take on the “mobile wallet”.