Recently reports have surfaced downplaying NFC technology in the iPhone 5, but were they referencing on-device hardware or current software implementation? In addition, new rumors have surfaced concerning Apple expanding file system, and USB support to perhaps enable greater music functionality.

First, NFC. Recently Anandtech theorized that the iPhone 5, due to its design, would be unlikely to support NFC (near field communications), and the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had abandoned NFC payments, at least for now. Well sourced developer Will Strafach, however, says that at least one of the iPhone 5 prototype units, N42AP (which he assumes is the CDMA version), had NFC hardware in it, and thinks it's unlikely Apple would strip it out.

all of you annoying doubters of a certain technology being present in the new iPhone, all I will say is: gpio12. I have no way of knowing what will be in the production models, but there would be no reason to remove a major technology that was in an EVT

clarification: N42AP had NFC. I am assuming that if that's CDMA and N41AP is GSM, they both will have it. no reason for just CDMA to. People don't understand other uses, which is quite annoying. much more than just payments.

Apple has had things like FM radios in hardware and never made the feature accessible to users, so it's possible that NFC hardware does indeed exist and that Apple simply isn't using it at this time, or using it for something other than mobile payments or what's traditionally seen as an NFC feature.

Next, developer Jack Perry says iOS 6 includes:

Support for ‘nero’ and ‘yamaha’ USB support.

MSDOS/Fat filesystems.

And, concerning the rumored panorama feature:

Also, the next iPhone will have a software locked panorama feature. Basically a updated version of the one in iOS 4+

The USB support could help increase compatibility with keyboards and other music peripherals. Apple has also software limited features in the past, for example making video recording exclusive to the iPhone 3GS in 2009 or Siri exclusive to the iPhone 4S in 2011. Typically this is to ensure adequate users experience.

Only a few hours remain, so if anything else pops up, we'll add it here. Make sure to join us for our full event coverage via the link below: