For a premium smartphone line, Apple’s iPhones (and by extension their iPad tablets) are among an increasingly small group of top-end handsets not to feature NFC tech. However, a new patent filing from the Cupertino company suggests this may be set to change soon.
The patent, uncovered by Apple Insider, suggests Apple are looking to introduce a “gifting” option between iPhones and iPads. As well as detailing a system that would allow pals to give iTunes files as presents via email, the patent tellingly includes an option that would allow for the exchange to be carried out wirelessly over NFC too.
Rather than being able to freely trade items however, only locked purchases seem to be in Apple’s plans, with Wi-Fi authentication needed to activate files on the recipients handset. If you’re hoping that “gifting” would also include the trade of second-hand digital content, that doesn’t look likely to feature, unsurprisingly.
As with all patents, there’s no guarantee that the next-gen iPhone or iPad will come packing NFC, but this is a clear indication that Apple are considering it, and are already looking into unique ways to make money out of it to boot.