The iPhone 5 was announced today, coming equipped with an A6 processor, an improved camera, a 4-inch screen size, LTE connectivity, and as anticipated, a much smaller dock connector.

While most of what was rumored showed up in Apple’s new phone, NFC technology was noticeably absent. We first heard rumors of NFC and the iPhone 5 in June, when hints of the technology were found buried deep in iOS 6 code.

The lack of NFC was a bit surprising, especially since it seems like a natural choice with Apple’s new Passbook feature coming in iOS 6.

In an interview with AllThingsD, Phil Schiller explained that Passbook does not need a payment system to be functional, and that “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today.” There’s no NFC in the phone because there’s no demand for it, and no existing problem that the technology would solve.

Schiller also said that the iPhone wasn’t equipped with wireless charging because such systems still plug into the wall, which isn’t quite as convenient as a cable that can be used in wall outlets and computers alike.

Finally, he chimed in on the new dock connector, saying that it was not possible to create thinner devices with the existing 30-pin dock connector, necessitating a change to something smaller. Don’t worry, though, this will be the last update for awhile. “This is the new connector for many years to come,” said Schiller.

Source: AllThingsD