AnandTech, going through an extensive analysis of the rumors thus far for the next-generation iPhone, said it was "no deal" in terms of NFC support. The site said,
"Given the primarily metal backside of the new iPhone, it's highly unlikely that NFC is in the cards for this generation. In fact, given the very little space at top and bottom dedicated to those glass RF windows, you can almost entirely rule it out.
"It shouldn’t need saying, but having a huge ground plane (the unibody metal back case) in the way of your NFC antenna will seriously degrade performance, thus only the top or bottom windows are logical places to put it."
Instead, that "mystery chip" seen on the earlier photos, AnandTech speculated, might be a touch and display controller to be used with the iPhone 5's in-cell display panel. In-cell panels can be made thinner than traditional on-cell panels, because the touch sensors are actually placed inside the color filters rather than atop them.
On Tuesday, Jim Dalrymple, who is famous for his confirmations of such rumors, and is generally right, blessed the assertion with his typically simple "Yep."
Why add Passbook to iOS 6 and then not support it in the iPhone 5, the logical place to put it (certainly, putting it in an iPad makes less sense). Well, Apple, isn't going to leap into a market that isn't mature. Apple may have seen that Google, which has already seen NFC added to a number of Android devices, isn't really making inroads in terms of adoption of the technology.
Apple is expected to hold the iPhone 5 launch event on Sept. 5. The device will rhen release to retail on Sept. 21, if rumors are correct.