Mark Gurman’s scoopage is back at Bloomberg:
A future iPhone will include technology called FeliCa, a mobile tap-to-pay standard in Japan developed by Sony Corp., according to people familiar with the matter… Apple has planned to launch these new features with the next iPhone models, which the company is set to unveil in September, according to people familiar with the matter. However, the company could hold back the transit card feature to next year’s model if discussions with the Japan-based payment networks fall apart, one person said.
It’s hard to parse this, but it sounds like the Japan-compatible NFC hardware would be in the new iPhone, but the feature wouldn’t be turned on in software until later? Apple’s undoubtedly making new iPhones right now, so this is not a last-minute decision. (It’s also possible that Bloomberg’s sources are stale, though that seems less worthy of this sort of story.)
Gurman drops another tidbit in the story too:
Apple is already at work on a major redesign of the iPhone for 2017 that focuses more heavily on the display by removing the Home button, according to a person familiar with the matter.
This goes along with previous speculation that next year’s iPhone may be “all screen”, powered by a new OLED display and with no physical home button at all.