In an interview with All Things D, Phil Schiller (a Senior Vice President at Apple) claimed that NFC and wireless charging isn’t necessary in a phone, and that the Lightning dock connector will be the standard for Apple’s devices for years to come.
In comments on both NFC and wireless charging, it’s obvious that he believes both often represent a greater level of complexity than what they are trying to solve. NFC, in particular, has typically been a technology that only the tech-savvy understand and use, while the general public likely aren’t even aware of its existence. Wireless charging is harder to explain away, though Schiller states that “Having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated.” He goes on to say that being able to simply plug a USB cable and its adapter in to the wall is a simpler solution, and one that is more portable.
Regarding the new Lightning dock connector, Schiller believes that it was necessary to make the change in order to have the devices we have today. He said that, without the new Lightning dock connector, devices would have to be thicker than they are: particularly the new iPod touch and Nano. Remember that the only part of the connector we see is what is exposed to the outside, and that there are various other components housed inside the devices themselves. It does seem likely that the 30 pin dock connector, which was designed more than half a decade ago, could represent a barrier to how thin a device can go.