Speculating about unreleased Apple products can be a full time job if you want it to be. For those who want to navigate the rumor mill, there are a couple of gems out there right now.
According to the New York Times, information provided by unnamed insiders reveals that the next gen iPhone may in fact contain NFC technology. Near-field Communication, as you may know, is short wave communication that allows communication between a device and a reader. In this case, the NFC technology would allow iPhone users to swipe their phones in front of a reader, and make quick credit card payments.
One person familiar with the new Apple feature said the phone's credit card information would be tied to information currently used on iTunes, which would make it simple for customers to set up the new mobile payment method on the iPhone. Last year, Apple hired Benjamin Vigier, an expert in the mobile payments industry who works with N.F.C. extensively. Apple has also filed patents that demonstrate how such a system would work on the iPhone.
With some cars having iPhone apps for remote start-up, the addition of NFC could truly mean that some people could leave their house carrying nothing but an iPhone. Apple might be rolling this out at a good time, as today NFC World confirmed that POS terminal company Verifone is building NFC into all new terminals.
The next rumor is a bit shakier. The China Times (translated, proceed carefully) reports today that trial production has begun on the new model iPhone, and that the test runs have 4 inch screens, a whole half an inch larger than the 3.5 inches of all previous iPhones. If true, this might be another smart decision for Apple. As we told you earlier today, new research confirms increased purchases of large screen phones.