RFID (radio-frequency identification) and NFC (near field communication) have become recent hot topics in the smartphone arena — mostly as a way to wirelessly pay for stuff without juggling a keyring full of proprietary keyfobs.
Now, according to Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White — who's attending the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona — the next-generation iPhone will contain RFID/NFC technology that goes far beyond mere "electronic wallet" functionality. White's sources did not go into detail what that added functionality might be, but back in November of last year, rumors were floated of a method for iPhones and Macs to securely communicate with one another, to the point where the iPhone could (benignly?) seize control of the Mac.
Apple is, in fact, actively researching the technologies, having filed NFC-related patents as recently as last July that could grab a product's information wirelessly and return coupons and special promotions.