Apple's Phil Schiller explains new 'Lightning' port, doesn't think much of NFC and wireless charging

Now that we know much, much more about Apple's latest iPhone, we can't help but wonder why certain features are missing from the iPhone 5. For instance, near-field communication -- standard in many iPhone competitors -- is notably absent. This seems especially odd considering iOS 6's Passbook feature, which acts like a virtual wallet for gift cards, boarding passes, and other such things, would be a perfect fit for NFC technology. "Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today," Apple senior VP Phil Schiller told All Things D.

Schiller also explained the reason for the iPhone 5's new "Lightning" port, which allows for faster data transfer between phone and computer, but also requires an adapter ($29) for use with Apple's previous wire standard. Apparently Apple's future lineup would be impossible without the new connecter, according to Schiller. He attempted to assuage concerned consumers with one hopeful promise: "This is the new connector for many years to come."

And finally, when pressed on wireless charging -- a main feature of Nokia's flagship Windows Phone 8 device, the Lumia 920 -- Schiller said such a feature offers little to consumers beyond confusion. "Having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated," he said. As per usual, the iPhone 5 will charge via USB -- using the new dock connector, of course. But surely, turning a bunch of cables into just one giant wireless charging plate aligns well with Apple's simplicity design, right?