BlackBerry NFC may have been fixed BlackBerry Tag comingRumor
Posted by Seth PlanckOctober 10th, 2011 at 11:27 AM Filed Under Latest News, Rumor
BlackBerry NFC may have been fixed as RIM announces that BlackBerry Tag coming
Research in Motion has announced that BlackBerry Tag, an app for NFC tap-to-share functionalities. It is going to be released in an upcoming OS 7 update. BlackBerry Tag takes advantage of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology included in the recently launched BlackBerry Bold 9900 & 9930 and the BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360/9370 smartphones. BlackBerry NFC phones that support BlackBerry Tag will soon have the ability to allow users to share contact information, documents, URLs, photos and other multimedia.
Until now, NFC has been turned off in BlackBerry phones at the mobile network operator level in many parts of the world. Even with today’s announcement RIM adds that BlackBerry Tag is subject to network operator certifications. The firm also says that users should check with their local operator for availability. That may appear to be a simple statement, but as ever there is a story behind the story, and we exclusively have the skinny, so keep reading.
“BlackBerry Tag is an exciting and innovative feature that makes sharing contact information and multimedia content effortless and seamless,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “BlackBerry Tag opens a new dimension to the BlackBerry platform that is powerful, simple and intuitive and we think it will be welcomed by both users and developers.”
BlackBerry NFC capabilities may not be free and network operators may not allow access to services
We have reported that BlackBerry have been making progress on fixing the NFC issues that have plagued all NFC phones released to date. The BlackBerry Tag app that enables tap-to-share features that will also enable BBM users to swap contact details is a step in the right direction. However, from what we are being told by our sources close to the matter many users and network operators could be in for a surprise with regards to any NFC capabilities outside of the BlackBerry Tag NFC app. We are hearing that there is a lot of frustration with RIM in the MNO and other industry stakeholder circles.
RIM intends to enable the Secure Element in BlackBerry NFC phones within the next update which is likely to not be popular with many MNOs around the world, and in fact we are hearing whispers that this could prevent MNOs from allowing this update make its way to NFC BlackBerry phones. This is especially true with US mobile network operators who are members of the Isis joint venture who do not want other NFC mobile wallets on their networks that aren’t controlled by the trusted service manger arm of Isis.
By enabling the Secure Element and rolling out an API, which RIM also announced for the NFC capabilities in today’s announcement, this would give developers the ability to build RIM compatible NFC mobile wallets that bypass Isis and other organizations like the joint venture all around the world. Can you imagine Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile allowing a BlackBerry version of Google’s NFC Google Wallet running on BlackBerry NFC phones, on their networks? No, nor can we, and this could mean that not many subscribers will see this new update, or if they do it will be compromised and may not have fully capabilities. However, it doesn’t stop there.
RIM plans to charge users to installing BlackBerry NFC services and apps?
Reliable sources have told NFC Rumors that RIM is planning to charge users for provisioning NFC apps and that the firm also intends to charge users for further NFC capabilities. What we don’t know is whether BlackBerry Tag is included in this and by the way RIM’s announcement was written it looks not to be the case.
However if RIM is planning on charging users for provisioning NFC apps this could challenge the model that Isis and other trusted service managers have setup where users are not charged for these services. RIM appears to be running into a brick wall, and where as in theory users being charged for provisioning is not a bad thing if those same users had more control of what lives on their Secure Element, RIM is opposing itself to most mobile network operators. Industry stakeholders are said to be becoming increasingly frustrated with RIM and this cannot be a good thing for a company that is already in a state of decline at this point. It is good that RIM is fixing the BlackBerry NFC issues at last and that more NFC tags will be supported, how many users will actually get to use these services still remains unclear.