According to dozens of reports, Apple will finally cave and embrace the trend toward larger smartphones this year. Of course Apple has known for quite some time that consumers want a larger iPhone — in an internal presentation from 2012, Apple admitted that “consumers want what we don’t have” and stated that the bulk of high-end smartphone growth was being enjoyed by phones with big displays. It makes sense, then, that Apple is expected to follow Samsung’s lead and launch a larger iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen and an iPhone phablet with a 5.5-inch screen this year.

A new report suggests that bigger screens aren’t the only way Apple’s 2014 iPhone models will follow rivals’ lead, however.

Citing a single unnamed source, BrightWire is reporting that Apple’s next-generation iPhone will include NFC and will launch alongside a new mobile payment service. The investment newswire states that Apple has already inked a deal with China UnionPay to make its new payment service available in China, and the service involves both an NFC payment system and another system that will allow shoppers to pay for purchases in Apple Stores without the need for NFC.

Rival smartphone makers have included NFC in their handsets for years now, though currently available mobile payment solutions have not been widely adopted in the U.S. or other key markets.

Apple has long been rumored to be developing a mobile payment service, though the company has panned NFC in the past and indicated that it would not adopt the wireless technology in its own devices. Of course, this certainly wouldn’t be the first time Apple reversed its position on a mobile technology.

Of note, an earlier report from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI securities also stated that Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone phablet will include NFC.

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.