NFC World ran an article on 5S "likely" to have NFC, citing investment bank Jefferies who said
that "based on our checks, likely updates include a new super HD camera/screen, a better battery, and NFC."
I wonder what those "checks" were... Supply chain inventory? Design drawings? Or details of Apple's commercial model of adding NFC to iPhone?
According to my "checks", Apple has 400m registered iTune customers and has just spent half a billion dollars on buying a couple of biometric companies. Guess what that means.
NFC is not to be ruled out, but if Apple were to add it, NFC could be used for a totally different purpose, e.g. in-store Bluetooth pairing... Authenticate iTunes customer (for the internal "cardholder present" risk profile), use NFC to pair to (Apple's)
Bluetooth infrastructure, run the payment.
Good theory, but apply it to Wal-Mart who are building own payments network (and who wouldn't like to pay more than "mere cents" to any payment scheme) and it all remains just that - a good theory.
There is little profit in payments and it will only get diminished. Can Apple make money from something they don't control? If not, does Apple need NFC?..