According to sources within the UK's largest wireless operators, Apple will not include NFC (Near Field Communication) technology in the upcoming iPhone 5. NFC is a short-range wireless technology integrated in mobile phones and used for mobile ticketing and payment processing systems.
The Cupertino company is reportedly reluctant to introduce NFC because the technology lacks a unifying standard. Rather than adopt the current implementation of this technology, Apple is reportedly working on its own NFC system that would tie into iTunes. Though not confirmed, forms of this new technology have been hinted at in previous patent applications and job listings. This NFC alternative may be introduced with the iPhone 6 in 2012.
Google recently launched the Nexus S earlier this year with NFC technology and is working on bringing this technology to the masses. It has launched a small-scale initiative called Hotpot that lets business owners place an NFC-enabled sign in their storefront. This sign can be read by NFC-enabled handsets and provides the user with pertinent store information, such as hours of operation and menu items as well as special deals. If Apple brings its own technology to the market, we may have a modern day version of the beta war.