NFC isn't needed to give iPhone owners what they need today, Apple's Phil Schiller has told AllThingsD, in an interview following today's launch of the iPhone 5:
Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller said that Passbook alone does what most customers want and works without [replacing] existing merchant payment systems.
It's not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem, Schiller said. "Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today."
We'd love to hear what readers think of Apple's point of view. Has the iPhone maker missed the point about the wider opportunities NFC offers beyond payments and ticketing? Or is Apple right that it is still too early for NFC to be a necessary feature in iPhone 5?