iPhone 5S Features: Handset to Come With Smaller NFC Chip?

Information on iPhone 5S features might have been revealed this week as Qualcomm announced a new NFC chip small enough to fit inside the next-generation Apple handset.

This new NFC (near-field-communications) component is also ultra-low power, and is said to be 50 percent smaller than the chips found in other smartphones such as the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Nexus.

The chip is named the QCA1990 and could end up in the next-generation iPhone if Apple decides to add NFC capabilities.

"The QCA1990 offers platform-level integration with the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 and next-generation processors and modems to seamlessly enable NFC on Qualcomm's OEM partner smartphones and tablets," wrote Qualcomm in the press release.

It is also can enable faster time-to-market for customers and features state-of-the-art radio frequency that exceeds requirements established by other companies attempting to master NFC.

"Qualcomm Atheros believes NFC will be another key element of an enriched experience for smartphone and tablet consumers," said David Favreau, vice president of product management for the company.

"As consumers continue to adopt functions like mobile payments and contactless data exchange, Qualcomm intends to be at the forefront of delivering simple, easy-to-use solutions to OEM partners," he added.

However, despite Qualcomm's advancements, the possibilities of the new chip ending up in the iPhone 5S are still slim.

It may be awhile before the company implements NFC into any of its devices, according to Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing

"It's not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem," said Schiller shortly after the iPhone 5 event. "Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today."

Either way, the new Qualcomm chip is expected to hit OEMS in the third-quarter of 2013 so smartphone buyers will be sure to see them in devices made by other companies such as Samsung and HTC.