Apple's upcoming iPhone 5 will come with a near-field communications (NFC) chip.

Two prototypes of the next iPhone pulled indicate the smartphone will contain an NFC chip. The hardware code for the iPhone 5 called 'N41AP (5,1)' and 'N42AP (5,2)' have been discovered by 9to5mac. For all the latest information check out our iPhone 5 release date, spec and rumour round-up.

Apple iPhone iOS 6 Passbook

The data obtained reportedly shows that the iPhone 5 will have NFC controllers directly connected to the power management unit. This notion ties in with the Passbook app which Apple announced with iOS 6, the next version of its mobile operating system.

Passbook is an app for storing and using things like tickets and boarding passes. It doesn't require NFC capability to function but it is thought that the feature will be added in for the iPhone 5. It would rival Google Wallet and Microsoft's recently announced Wallet app within Windows Phone 8.

Jim Peters, CTO of IT and communications firm SITA said: "Opinion is that Apple is going to incorporate NFC into Passbook. Apple just thinks about how they can make it really easy for the user, and then they figure out how to monetise it. They don’t think about how to monetise it and then tell the user what they can have. It doesn’t work like that,"

"There aren’t any transactions in it yet, but I think that’s how Apple is going to sneak up on the industry. They are going to get people used to using it and then all of a sudden they will allow credit cards to be used in there, on the next iPhone, which will include NFC."

The data revealing the NFC capability also showed the iPhone 5 might have a 3.999in screen with a 640 x 1136 resolution. 

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