Report: Next iPhone, iPad Prepped To Make Retail Payments

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Apple iPhone and iPad users may soon be able to pay for items using their devices, thanks to near field communications (NFC) technology reported to be included by Apple in the next generation of each.

That's according to Richard Doherty, director of consultancy Envisioneering Group, who was quoted by Bloomberg as saying Apple is working on NFC as a way to let iPhone and iPad users make payments directly from their mobile devices instead of using cash or credit cards. Doherty told Bloomberg his information comes from engineers at work on the devices.

NFC technology allows information to be "beamed" between devices at a distance up to 4 inches. The addition of NFC technology would make sense for Apple given the technology's growing popularity and because Apple last summer hired Benjamin Vigier, an NFC technology expert, to be its new product manager for mobile commerce.

Doherty's comments are the latest in a spate of rumors related to what Apple is planning for its next-generation iPhone, the iPhone 5, and next-generation iPad, or iPad 2. He told Bloomberg that both products are likely to be introduced this year. Many of Apple's competitors, including Nokia and Samsung, have pushed NFC technology and offer phones that can read NFC tags.

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