Next generation iPhone parts are leaking out left and right now, and a new photo from Chinese site Apple.pro has revealed a photo that shows a never-before-seen component in the front assembly of the upcoming iPhone.
While the images are similar to a front panel photo that was released earlier this month, a new mystery part is present. What could it be? Many sites are speculating that this is a near field communication chip, which is located near the front-facing camera.
The component, which is approximately five millimeters by five millimeters is in line with the dimensions of currently available NFC packages.
So what’s NFC? It’s an RFID technology that allows electronic devices to communicate with one another when they are in close proximity. This could be used for future payment services, putting the debit card out to pasture.
NFC can store digital payment information such as credit card numbers and bank accounts, which can then be used to make secure payments with authorized devices.
While Apple has said little about NFC, the company’s upcoming Passbook app (which stores ticket and card information) is an indication that Apple is planning on incorporating NFC into its future devices.
We will likely see NFC in Apple’s new iPhone first, but such technology will certainly make its way into the much rumored iPad mini and Apple’s next generation iPad, likely to be released next year.
The iPad mini is expected to come out this year, so will a matching technology make it onto the device? It makes sense, if the technology is available, and the inclusion would make the iPad mini the first tablet-sized Apple device with NFC. Such capabilities could be one more reason for users to set their full-sized iPads aside in favor of the device.
Apple’s next iPhone is expected to be announced on September 30. At this point, it is unclear when we may see the mini, though current rumors are targeting the month of October.