Actually, Apple didn't invent NFC.
In fact, what makes Apple the company they are now is not what they do, it's how they WAIT to release new features and functions until they're satisfied with it.
iPod: Rio came out with it first
iPad: Tablets have been around since the early 2000's
iPhone: Cell phones with touch functionality were around well before then (I still have my Treo sitting on my desk)
The same is for NFC; the technology has been in use for years in Europe and Asia. What's exciting with all these speculations is how Apple will choose to implement it.