More photos showing the completely assembled front panel for iPhone 5 leak online as the expected release date September 12 nears. The latest new photos come by way of Apple.pro, which posted what appears to be the full front panel assembly of the iPhone 5 fitted with LCD, home button, shielding frame for the display, and the front-facing camera installed behind additional shielding. In addition, the panel shows a mysterious squar-ish component making us to speculate the part is a NFC (near field communication) chip.
The images appear to be similar to those of a semi-assembled front panel published few days back, however closer inspection shows a few differences such as NFC chip located next to the front-facing camera. Japanese Apple blog Macotakara notes that the square component covered by EMI shielding is in line with the dimensions of currently available NFC packages like NXP’s 5 millimeter-by-5 millimeter.
Near Field Communication (NFC) capable device allows you to pay for items by tapping the phone onto credit card terminals. It actually stores your credit card, bank, or other digital payment information on a device, NFC then securely conduct transactions with other authorized devices.
Rumors of NFC support for the iPhone have been circulating for some time, with the NYT claiming last year that Apple is looking to integrate NFC payments into the iPhone. Unfortunately, NFC did not arrive in the iPhone 4S, and thus is now expected in the sixth generation iPhone.
Apple has not yet made any announcements, but Cupertino is largely expected to unveil the next-gen iPhone at a 12 September event and release it on 21 September. Both Verizon and AT&T had reportedly instituted vacation blackout for their employees scheduled between Sept. 21 and Sept. 30, signaling possible announcement for iPhone 5 sometime during the timeframe.