Apple will reportedly introduce services that would let customers use its iPhone and iPad computer to make purchases, a feature similar to what Google Android smmarthpones offer.
The services are based on "Near-Field Communication," a technology that can beam and receive information at a distance of up to 4 inches, due to be embedded in the next iteration of the iPhone for AT&T Inc. and the iPad 2, Bloomberg reported today, citing Richard Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering Group.
Both products are likely to be introduced this year, Doherty said.
iPhone's NFC capability would help it compete with phones that use Google's Android software. Samsung Nexus S phone, which runs Android, can read information from NFC tags.
Apple also could use NFC to improve how it delivers mobile ads to customers' handsets and charge higher fees for those ads. NFC would let Apple's iAd advertising network personalize ads to the places where a customer is spending money.