Slideshow 9 Reasons Apple Was Right to Omit NFC Payments from the iPhone 5

  • September 14 2012, 2:48pm EDT

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Carrier Conundrum

Apple wants a consistent experience for all users, and it can't have that if even one carrier doesn't agree to support the mobile wallet. Google is already facing this problem with its NFC-equipped Android phones. Pictured: Apple's Phil Schiller(Image: Bloomberg News)

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Bad Signal

Users of Google's mobile wallet have had issues getting the NFC chip to send a signal through a smartphone's case or a third-party battery cover. Apple has probably learned its lesson on this front from its "Antennagate" fiasco. (Image: ShutterStock)

Passbook Consistency

The nice thing about Passbook, Apple's barcode-based system for displaying loyalty cards and transit tickets, is that it works with systems that are already widely used. Adding NFC would complicate the process. (Image: ShutterStock)

Merchant Resistance

An NFC-based payment system would require merchants to add new hardware at the point of sale, and merchants already face expensive requirements under the Payment Card Industry data security standard and the card brands' deadlines for accepting EMV chip cards. (Image: ThinkStock)

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No Pressure

The carriers' Isis wallet has yet to launch, and Google's mobile wallet, which is over a year old, is still trying to build momentum with banks, carriers and device makers. Despite their head start, these competitors do not have enough scale to present an imminent threat. (Image: ThinkStock)

Patents 'In Progress'

Though Apple has numerous patents describing NFC-based payment systems, its final products often evolve from those original designs. In its testing, Apple may have decided to change course with any planned payment system. (Image: ThinkStock)

Size Matters

Apple's newest iPhone is thinner and lighter than previous models. Apple often reshapes and redesigns components to fit a smaller package, but an NFC chip and antenna may have added too much bulk. Pictured: Apple's Phil Schiller (Image: Bloomberg News)

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Too Open

Open-loop payment systems have not had much success compared to examples like the Starbucks mobile card, which is tied to a closed-loop system. Apple may think that an open-loop payment system is too ambitious to work. (Image: ShutterStock)

Time Flies

Apple's success with its iPhone, iPod and iPad never came from its speed to market. The company has a habit of entering markets late — and then crushing the competition when it arrives. For this reason, Apple may see no need to build a mobile wallet this year. (Image: ThinkStock)