Photos purporting to be the front assembly of the iPhone 5 show what appears to be an NFC chip, suggesting contactless payments could be made with the next-generation Apple device.

The images show the chip sitting at the top of the phone next to the camera lens which, interestingly, has been moved from the centre to the right-hand side of the phone. 

Previous images said to be that of the iPhone 5 have also shown the camera’s positioning to have been moved. The introduction of an NFC chip could well be the reason why.

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It’s not the first time Apple has been linked with integrating NFC technology into the iPhone 5. At its WWDC event in June, Apple spoke about its Passbook app and how it would have the ability to house tickets and store card information within the application. 

By introducing an NFC chip to the iPhone 5, these capabilities would be extended to being able to make wireless payments by simply tapping the phone against an NFC reader in a store, for example. It could also make it possible to pass information such as contacts between devices by simply “bumping” them together.