A new Apple patent hints that the next generations of iPhone and iPad will come with NFC on board.

The application is based around giving iOS songs, ebooks and films to other iOS-using friends and families.

So if you wanted to give your pals a Hanson hit, you could either make the purchase directly in iTunes, or you could locate the song (probably 'Mmmbop', let's face it, but 'Where's The Love' was a valiant follow-up) on your own iPhone or iPad and gift them a copy from there.

Plant a seed, plant a flower, plant a rose

At the moment, when you buy iTunes files as presents for other people, you send them via email - however, this new patent gives you the option to do so using NFC.

This option will be handy if you're desperate to get 'Mmmbop' on to your friends' phone but you don't have internet access - it basically transfers a locked file to their handset which is then authenticated once they're back in Wi-Fi or data range.

Of course, this is no guarantee that Apple will include NFC in any device, nor that this patent will ever be used in any way - still, it's proof that the company is having a good hard think about how it can make NFC worth its while.

From Apple Insider