In an interview following Apple’s unveiling of the iPhone 5, SVP Phil Schiller explained why the company chose not to include NFC and wireless charging in the new handset, and goes in to detail on the new (and faster) Lightning port. Schiller told All Things D that the decision not to include NFC actually stemmed from Passbook, which he said “does the kinds of things customer need today.” On inductive charging, Schiller pointed out that the convenience still requires you to be plugged into an outlet, and is therefore not as convenient as people believe. “Having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated,” Schiller said. As for the Lightning connector: “This is the new connector for many years to come,” Schiller said.
[UPDATE: By Mitchell Whitfield] Sorry Marc…couldn’t resist. While Mr. Schiller is correct in stating that wireless charging still requires a charger base to be plugged into an outlet, the advantage to consumers is only having to plug in that base one time, rather than constantly connecting and disconnecting their phones to charge them on a daily basis. Perhaps the more honest answer would have been, “NFC and inductive charging are great–but we’d rather hold off on these features so we can give iPhone 5 users a more compelling reason to buy the iPhone 5s next year!”