Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



The New iPhone Won't Ship With This Long-Rumored Part

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

The next iPhone might not be all it's cracked up to be. But that's not a problem to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) at all. Instead, a missing feature looks like a threat to the chip designer that would have enabled it.

On Tuesday, shares of NXP Semiconductors (Nasdaq: NXPI  ) fell as much as 5.5% on a generally stable market day. The culprit? The tech enthusiasts at Anandtech sat down to analyze photos of purported iPhone 5 parts and came to the inescapable conclusion that there'd be no place for NXP's near-field communication chips in this handset.

Anandtech delves deeply into the physics of the NFC standard's radio signals, pairs this up with the all-metal backside of the new iPhone, and notes that there's no space for an NFC antenna outside the inner metal casing. For example, the NFC antenna in my own Samsung Galaxy S2 phone is encased in the rather large battery. This works because the Galaxy's backside is made of lightweight plastic, which may look a bit cheap but certainly helps passing weak radio signals through the outer shell. And the new iPhone won't have that luxury.

It's not that Apple absolutely can't stick an NFC solution inside the proposed casing, but the resulting product would be very cumbersome to use when compared with existing NFC-equipped Android handsets. As Anandtech notes: "With an NFC antenna at the extreme top or bottom, alignment with non-iPhones (for example, payment tokens or reader tags) becomes a much more confusing task, and that doesn't seem like the Apple-like level of polish everyone is waiting for to drive NFC adoption."

Apple could still include retail payment services using a different communications standard. Anandtech proposes a solution based on Bluetooth radio signals or those snappy two-dimensional bar codes, though many retail points of sale would have to add new equipment to support these ideas. If anybody has the heft to force retailers into hardware upgrades, Apple would be it. Nothing is impossible.

Take note that Anandtech based this analysis on photos of replacement parts, leaked by iPhone repair shops in Taiwan. I'm assuming that it's the real deal, but feel free to treat it as a rumor until Apple actually announces the handset.

Analysts expect the iPhone 5 to outsell all previous iPhones -- combined. It's no wonder the Fool's top analysts saw fit to create a premium analysis service for the world's most valuable company. Grab this report right now to enjoy our deep dive into Apple's catalysts and challenges, and then stick around for a full year's worth of free updates. Claim your copy.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and NXP Semiconductors and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. We Fools don't all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2001259, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/28/2016 2:31:44 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 5 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,169.68 -29.65 -0.16%
S&P 500 2,133.04 -6.39 -0.30%
NASD 5,215.97 -34.29 -0.65%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/27/2016 4:00 PM
AAPL $114.48 Down -1.11 -0.96%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
NXPI $99.08 Up +0.42 +0.43%
NXP Semiconductors… CAPS Rating: ****