Matt Drance on the iPhone 5 not having NFC, and how that is not really a problem in the world today.
This point is exactly right. Sure, the iPhone 5 could have NFC. It would probably require a thicker design, might impact battery life, but certainly it could be in there. So could a toaster.
Don’t get me wrong: I think the promise of NFC is a good one, one I’m excited to see. But it’s just a prospect for now.
Sometimes Apple push the envelope for this sort of stuff, what with the non-Floppy iMacs and such. But when they do, it’s because they believe it serves a purpose for their customers (or themselves), not to check off a box in a comparison chart. Currently, NFC serves no practical purpose, only the hope that it someday will.