Have no doubt the iPhone will become an iWallet, with yet another patent poking out of Cupertino confirming plans to implement NFC-based systems and RFID readers on future iterations of the Apple smartphone.

This new European patent confirms Apple has been working to develop such systems since way back in 2007, when the iPhone first appeared. The patent describes a way in which the RFID antenna could be placed, “in the touch sensor panel, such that the touch sensor panel could now additionally function as an RFID transponder,”Patently Apple informs.

This is extremely important as it is part of the multiplicity of pieces Apple needs to put together in order to progress its iWallet plans. In future you can expect Apple to offer devices which can pay for commuter buses, goods, services and airline tickets. These moves when tied to iTunes could even yield Apple the opportunity to take on Paypal.

What makes all this possible is that the handheld device could be used at different times as both an RFID reader and an RFID tag. This would enable two iPhones to share infomation securely — from making small payments to others to sharing contact info and more.

Apple’s patent notes that it incorporates the content of a book entitled “RFID Handbook: Fundamentals and Applications in Contactless Smart Cards and Identification” by Klaus Finkenzoeller, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2003.”

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