iPhone 4 gets stuck with NFC 'sticker' from Japan's Softbank

One of the lesser known predictions of the Mayan calendar foretells that 2011 will be the year of NFC. The contactless communications stuff looks to be building all kinds of steam in the Western world, but don't lose faith in your current smartphone if it doesn't already have it. Japanese carrier Softbank has responded to complaints about the iPhone 4's NFC deficit -- the FeliCa payment system is pretty popular over in the land of sumo, sushi and sun-rising -- by introducing a new "seal" for the back of Apple's latest and greatest. It sticks on, covering almost the entire rear, but is apparently thin enough not to get in the way of using one of Apple's own Bumpers alongside it. From our reading of the press release, the sticker doesn't actually communicate with the iPhone, it's just a dumb NFC card, but hey, other people don't need to know that when you're swiping payments with your phone, now do they? On sale in February at a price of ¥2,980 ($36).