NFC rumored for next iPhone for fourth year in a row, this time based on leaked circuit board

iPhone-6-vs-iPhone-5s-PCB

A new iPhone is shipping in a few months, so that naturally means that there is talk of the new Apple device including NFC capabilities. This time, the claims come via website NoWhereElse.fr, which claims that the above printed circuit board is a legitimate iPhone 6 part that includes an NFC chip and an 802.11ac WiFi card among the usual other components. Why would Apple include NFC, an old technology far inferior to Bluetooth Low Energy? I’m not sure, so don’t count on it happening. You can see from the image above that the iPhone 6 part is quite similar to the current iPhone’s variant, and today’s leak does not tell us much more about what we already know is coming: a thinner, lighter device, with a larger and higher-resolution display, new sensors, and a faster processor. We’ve reported that at least the upcoming 4.7-inch model will take its bow in mid-September, while the 5.5-inch version is shipping later.

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iSuppli speculates LTE costs and extra chipset will keep Apple away this year

In a note last night, Wayne Lam of IHS-iSuppli made the case against Apple going with 1st generation LTE chips in its next iPhone.

“It remains to be seen whether the next Apple iPhone set for introduction in September will support 4G LTE,” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for IHS. “However, if it does, two things are clear. First, the iPhone’s minuscule printed circuit board (PCB) will have to grow in size in order to support the first-generation LTE baseband processor as well as all the supporting chipset. Second, the next iPhone’s BOM value certainly will increase substantially compared to the iPhone 4 if LTE is implemented in the same manner as in the HTC Thunderbolt.”

I think Apple is more concerned with the extra space and battery life the new chips would consume much more than the extra cost of the components.“The first generation of LTE chipsets forced a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those we are just not willing to make,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple chief financial officer, speaking at the company’s April 2011 earnings call.

The next round of chips which would allow Apple to put LTE in a similarly sized package won’t hit the streets until the first half of 2012.

I don’t see an iPhone as big at the Thundebolt or Charge, ever.  Read more