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Posted by Seth PlanckDecember 22nd, 2011 at 1:14 PM Filed Under Latest News
Etick brings the NFC mobile wallet to Iranian consumers with Irancell
NFC mobile wallet projects are taking off all over the Middle East, and Etick and Irancell are bringing some NFC goodness to Iranian consumers. Just in case you needed any more evidence that NFC mobile payments are gearing up to explode globally this next year, today we want to let you know about a project taking off in Iran. One of the great things about NFC is that it is crossing geographical, economic and cultural barriers. There are projects the world over that use that same NFC you want in your smartphone, and although NFC payments and NFC mobile wallets are a small part of the NFC puzzle, it appears to be the side of the tech that is capturing businesses’ and consumers’ imagination at the moment. The cry we are hearing at the moment is that NFC isn’t just about payments, however, we would be remiss if we didn’t recognize the power and place NFC mobile wallets have in this nascent industry.
Posted by Seth PlanckDecember 08th, 2011 at 11:41 AM Filed Under Latest News
Intel gets serious about NFC and upgrades NFC Forum membership
Today NFC scores another step forward in becoming ubiquitous as Intel upgrades its membership to the NFC Forum from a Principal member all the way to the top position of Sponsor level. First things first, this shows Intel’s intentions towards NFC .We have already caught sight of an Intel NFC tablet and the firm has also announced their intentions to support NFC and secure payments in their line of UltraBooks.
What makes the announcement of Intel upgrading its membership important is that the firm represents ubiquity across PC and Mac platforms. Its support of NFC represents mass deployment of NFC enabled devices that include PCs, tablets and laptops / netbooks. That alone will undoubtedly bring NFC capabilities to most users’ machines within the next few years. We have already seen Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Nokia, RIM and other large firms throw their support behind NFC, but very few have the clout of Intel. Because Intel is part of so many manufacturers’ product lines, the Intel announcement is as big as the Microsoft Windows 8 announcement in bringing NFC mainstream.
Posted by Seth PlanckDecember 06th, 2011 at 8:26 PM Filed Under Latest News
Verizon taking a media beating over Google Wallet, plays coy about its intentions with regards to Isis
Well, it finally started – Verizon is being called to task about their position on Google Wallet and allowing consumers to use whichever services they want on their NFC smartphones. If you are a regular here at NFC Rumors, you will know we haven’t been keen about how Isis members have treated NFC and NFC services for consumers. However, the Galaxy Nexus has taken this industry known issue into the main gadget media today as consumers start to ask “can I use Google Wallet on the Galaxy Nexus?” The answer is no and Verizon are throwing mud in different directions to try and relieve themselves of any blame, and what they are saying is probably not true. Ah, PR departments. You have to love ‘em.
Posted by Seth PlanckOctober 14th, 2011 at 1:07 PM Filed Under NFC Briefs
Google Wallet updated for your NFC payment kicks It’s been out a few weeks and Google has already started updating its Google Wallet app. The latest and greatest version brings some fixes and new features so you can better see what you are spending. Google Wallet update list What’s in this version of Google Wallet: [...]
Posted by Seth PlanckSeptember 25th, 2011 at 7:33 PM Filed Under Latest News
Top 11 reasons why you shouldn’t buy a phone without NFC
NFC has reached a point where its inclusion in everyday life is a certainty within the next couple of years, and for consumers to benefit from NFC features they will need an NFC phone. Whether your penchant is for NFC payments or you like the Bluetooth pairing to speakers, near field communication is coming. Within the next year or so, we expect NFC keys to cards starting to become popular. Also expect NFC features built straight into our cars. Smartphone manufacturers are already starting to produce NFC phones and they are becoming more prevalent by the day, but there are still going to be non NFC-phones marketed to consumers. This post is about why you shouldn’t tie yourself into a contract on a phone that doesn’t come with the aforementioned capabilities.
Companies like Microsoft, Google, Intel, Nokia, Research in Motion, Huawei, Acer and Mozilla have said they intend to support NFC in products from now on. Service companies like Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Rogers Communications and many more are building their businesses around the model of harnessing near field communications for their customers. However, the big “will they, won’t they?” question lays with the Apple iPhone 5. Many doubt that Apple will include a near field communication chip within its latest and greatest smartphone. We still think it is a 50 /50 split on the probability that the company will support NFC. However, if Apple doesn’t support near field communication, Apple fans will have been done a disservice by the company and there are plenty of Android handsets that are just as, if not more capable, than the iPhone.
Posted by Seth PlanckAugust 23rd, 2011 at 9:45 PM Filed Under Galleries, Latest News, Videos
Pick up the BlackBerry Curve 9350 NFC phone on Sprint for just $79.99
RIM trotted out some new NFC phones today, one being the BlackBerry Curve 9350. We already knew most of the specifications on this phone but it’s always nice when it gets official. We’ll get to the specs in a few, but wanted to let you know that the BlackBerry Curve 9350 NFC phone already has a home on Sprint and will be available on Friday, September 9th for a rather affordable $79.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. As smartphones go, the BlackBerry Curve 9350 isn’t going to attract those who want bleeding edge specifications and probably sits in the middle of the market. We were struck by how similar the hardware specifications are between the BlackBerry Curve 9350 and the Huawei Sonic are, aside from one being GSM and one being CDMA that is. The BlackBerry Curve 9350 has siblings that work with other networks but we will get to them in another post.
BlackBerry Curve 9350 NFC phone specifications
Other BlackBerry NFC phones have shipped with NFC turned off. The BlackBerry Curve 9350 on Sprint, however, is a functioning NFC phone.
Posted by Seth PlanckAugust 11th, 2011 at 10:23 PM Filed Under Latest News, Press Release
If you thought smartphone sales had peaked, your were wrong – they, in fact, grew a whopping 74% year-on-year according to Gartner
Phew, just when you thought there was nothing left to speculate on, we find that Gartner has been at it again, giving us statistics to analyze, ponder and argue over as to their real world meanings. With more people in the world using mobile devices than those who have running water, you can imagine it’s big business. In big business, we see winners and losers and many industry insiders wait with either excitement or dread for these reports to hit the media. Gartner today reported that mobile device sales grew 16.5% compared to the second quarter last year. That’s 428.7 million units in the second quarter of 2011. Mobile devices in general are a mature market now and a 16.5% increase in a globally bad economy is certainly news for celebration if you happen to be a market winning mobile device manufacturer.
Posted by Seth PlanckAugust 04th, 2011 at 3:35 PM Filed Under Latest News, Press Release
China could exceed $8 billion in mobile payments by 2014
ABI Research has just outed its latest study that shows that China could exceed $8 billion in mobile payments by 2014
It may not come as a huge surprise to many that China could exceed $8 billion in mobile payments by 2014 when you consider the sheer size of the population. Even if you just consider that the country has 868 million mobile subscribers as of the end of March this year, which means each phone would as a mean total spend $9.21 per year which isn’t unrealistic. However, between now and 2014 there are likely to be even more mobile subscribers which could bring those figures down further. ABI research has today released its latest report that looks at China’s emerging mobile payments industry.
Jake Saunders,VP for forecasting at ABI Research notes,“China is a big mobile payments market to play for. There were more than 868 million cellular subscribers as of the end of March 2011.”
China could exceed $8 billion in mobile payments by 2014 if more NFC phones hit the market
The report also looks at how banks and MNOs are currently hustling for position to provide NFC mobile wallets for Chinese citizens to make mobile payments.
Posted by Seth PlanckJuly 26th, 2011 at 10:10 PM Filed Under Latest News
More NFC phones are set to join the Huawei Sonic / T20 on Turkcell as NFC rollout expands in Turkey
Turkish Mobile Network operator Turkcell is aiming to add more carrier branded NFC phones to its portfolio as it expands its NFC mobile wallet services beyond payments and heads off stiff competition as it expands its rollout of Cep-T Cüzdan.
It was just this last week that Turkcell announced the launch of the first of its NFC phones, T20 / Huawei Sonic and its Cep-T Cüzdan NFC mobile wallet. More details are already emerging that show that Turkey’s largest MNO is looking to expand its offerings in terms of NFC phones and NFC applications with ambitions that transcend payments. Turkcell commissioned Huawei, the Chinese cell phone maker, to build the Huawei Sonic NFC phone which it rebranded as the T20 and used to launch the Cep-T Cüzdan NFC mobile wallet in collaboration with two large Turkish banks, Yapi Kredi and Garanti Bank, and MasterCard. The Huawei Sonic U8650NFC / Turkcell T20 is currently being sold in approximately 1000 stores in Turkey.
Turkcell makes use of the MasterCard Worldwide PayPass applications on SIM cards to provide its Cep-T Cüzdan platform, and uses the T20 / Huawei Sonic for its NFC phone. The T20 / Huawei Sonic is based on Android Gingerbread 2.3.3 and has an inbuilt NFC chip and antenna that makes NFC payments possible. Turkcell also acts as the TSM (trusted service manager) for its Cep-T Cüzdan platform with help from Smartsoft, which is a Turkish based smart card company, and pushes secure applications and payment credentials to consumers’ NFC phones. All that’s required for the recipe to be complete then is payment applications from the banks.
Posted by Seth PlanckJuly 23rd, 2011 at 5:29 PM Filed Under Latest News, Rumor
LG Gelato/ LG Optimus Net LS685 Android Gingerbread NFC phone rumor
The LG Gelato LS685 Gingerbread NFC phone has been found in a leaked roadmap for LG’s phone line up for 2011. We announced it last week as the LG Optimus Net NFC phone, which is the name Sprint will be marketing the NFC phone under. We now have a couple of new interesting details about the LS685 LG Gelato / LG Optimus Net. Firstly, images like the one above are cropping up showing Sprint logos on the front and rumors suggest that the LG Gelato / LG Optimus Net could launch as soon as this month. However, that may not be the NFC version and as you can see in LG’s press release below as they are somewhat vague about where LG Gelato / LG Optimus Net NFC phones would be released. Word on the street is that the US may get its hands on the NFC version in Q4 so it may not be a case of never, but if not when?
LG Gelato / LG Optimus Net and full LG 2011 roadmap leaked
LG has not been doing so well against its arch nemesis Samsung this year, and so it is a little surprising that when we see the leaked roadmap for the rest of 2011, we see a severe lack of superphones. Most models appear to be mid-low range and there really isn’t anything to is likely to rival rumored phones that are due to launch or even to give the Samsung Galaxy S II a run for its money. The LG Gelato / LG Optimus Net is the only NFC phone on the leaked document which casts doubt on LG producing any stiff competition in the NFC phone market. The leaked list contained the LG Gelato / LG Optimus Net and the following upcoming phones.
Posted by Seth PlanckJuly 21st, 2011 at 8:49 PM Filed Under Latest News, Press Release, Videos
AT&T Nexus S NFC phone coming to Best Buy July 24th for $100 on contract
Yes, the Samsung Nexus S is finally making its way to Ma’Bell, so even AT&T’ers can have a taste of NFC. It isn’t like you haven’t been able to use the Samsung Nexus S on AT&T before – it’s just if you have wanted to, it would have cost you a cool $600 for the privilege. Even then the phone was not optimized for the network, but that is now set to change as from Sunday. Best Buy will be selling the Samsung Nexus S as from this Sunday for $99.99 with an obligatory two-year contract according to the Samsung press release below.
Samsung Nexus S on AT&T may not have HSPA+
The Nexus S on AT&T probably won’t have speedy HSPA+ data so you would have to deal with good old 3G. If you have been chomping at the bit for the phone, which let’s face it is still a gorgeous piece of hardware that has NFC and is set to get Android updates before most phones out there. Alternatively head on over to the “Now Network” and through Amazon and WireFly where you can get the phone with WiMax for $50. Samsung Nexus S 4G at Amazon or head over to WireFly.
Whichever way you look at it, if you want a Samsung Nexus S, there has never been a better time to buy. With the Sprint version, the get out of jail charge is just $200 and falls further month by month, which will come close to a resale value when something bigger and better comes along. However, if you are set on an AT&T Nexus S and want to get it ordered now you can pre-order online at Best Buy.
Posted by Seth PlanckJuly 13th, 2011 at 3:01 AM Filed Under Featured, Galleries, Latest News, Videos
Turkcell T20 announced which is a rebranded Huawei Sonic NFC smartphone with Cep-T Cüzdan NFC mobile payments
Huawei Sonic U8650NFC NFC smartphone hits Turkcell re-branded as the Turkcell T20 and is launched with the new Turkcell Cep-T Cüzdan NFC mobile payment program backed by MasterCard.
The Huawei Sonic U8650 gets its first home on Turkcell, re-branded as the Turkcell T20 and comes packaged with a brand spanking new NFC mobile payments program called the Turkcell Cep-T Cüzdan. We had heard that Turkcell was due to pick up the sub $200 Android NFC phone, but didn’t know whether it would hit India, Australia or Turkey first. We even saw it breeze past the FCC here in the US. To say the Huawei Sonic U8650, or Turkcell T20 as it is now known, on Turkcell has piqued the interest of the general public is an understatement. When we first found out about the Huawei NFC phone and posted about it our site got slammed by eager NFC fans looking for specs and details. Well, it appears your wait is over.
Huawei Sonic / Turkcell T20 specifications
The Huawei Sonic U8650 / Turkcell T20 is one of the world’s first commercially available UICC (Universal Integrated Circuit Card), NFC – SWP (Single Wire Protocol) Android based device. Which basically translates as the phone itself has an integrated NFC chip right on the circuit board, but needs a SIM to act as a secure element for safe mobile payments.
Posted by Seth PlanckJuly 12th, 2011 at 10:33 AM Filed Under Latest News
Australia may get an NFC council thanks to EFTPOS
It appears NFC trials in Australia are wearing thin as EFTPOS’ Managing Director calls for an NFC council to be formed to build a business case and best practices implementation strategy for NFC in Australia. He is right, the pointless NFC trials are not helping. Unless banks and financial institutions are committed to embracing NFC, these trials are empty. When a bank or financial institution can commit itself to going all the way with NFC, then and only then is it worth doing a trial to work out the procedural steps that would be evolved in supporting the technology and educational process. If the foundation is not there than how can a trial be successful?
“We can do more pilots, but … I think we’re a bit piloted out to be honest,” said Mansfield who proposes an Australian NFC council.
Bruce Mansfield, Managing Director of EFTPOS (ePal), told ZDNet Australia that he wanted to bring together as many industry stakeholders as it can to develop the best way to deploy near field communication technology in the Australian market by 2012. Right off the bat we like the cut of this man’s jib – he is no fuss no muss and yet pragmatic about what needs to be done to bring NFC down under in the right way. Of course, the business case for NFC is already built, it’s a grand slam, but the best practices and a guide to actually deploying the technology is still sorely missing all around the world. We are wondering whether other countries should take note of what Australia is proposing here.
Posted by Seth PlanckJuly 06th, 2011 at 12:44 PM Filed Under Latest News, Rumor
NFC Phones roundup
It has been an active few weeks of NFC Phones announced with even more rumors, and it is easy to forget what NFC smartphones we may actually have coming our way. Just a little over a month ago, the only NFC Phones that were actually for sale were the Google Nexus S in the US and the Samsung Tocco in the UK. Since then, we have seen the Nokia C7 / Astound released and we also learned it doesn’t have a secure element. So let’s look at the 14 NFC Phones that are available or could come our way in the not so distant future.
NFC Phones available today
The pickings are still slim for NFC phones that are available today, but the list is growing.
Posted by Seth PlanckJune 20th, 2011 at 12:34 PM Filed Under Latest News, Videos
LG T530 NFC Feature Phone
LG is launching a little NFC Feature phone called the LG T530 this July. The phone is a higher specified NFC version of LG’s T series feature phones, that also includes the T500 & the WifI enabled T505 as its stable mates. There aren’t many details on specifications for the phone at the moment, but we have been investigating and have found a few nougats for you to look over.
LG T530 NFC Feature Phone Specifications
This little feature NFC Phone is built to be a budget model and isn’t going to wow you with any high-end panache or new fangled advanced hardware. Instead we feel the LG T530 is aimed at either younger people who aren’t ready for a smartphone or older people who simply want a simple phone with some nice creature comfort features. The LG T530 runs on a no name LG OS and brings support for social networking and standards like emailing and taking photographs. It has a web browser, plays nice with Bluetooth 2.1 and can jump on your WiFi network with 802.11 b/g support.
Posted by Seth PlanckJune 20th, 2011 at 12:14 AM Filed Under Latest News, Press Release, Videos
Samsung Wave 578 NFC phone could be Bada
We heard about the Samsung Wave 578 NFC phone way back in February when it first showed its face at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Well, it’s now getting ready to make its debut on a network over in Europe where it will join a small but growing sect of NFC-enabled phones. The Samsung Wave 578 is due to launch on Orange, or France Telecom, in France in july. At this time we have no idea on pricing, but the NFC phone is expected to be priced reasonably cheaply.
Samsung Wave 578 Specifications
Well, the Samsung Wave 578 isn’t going to be giving the expected iPhone 4s or the upcoming Nexus 4G a run for their money when it comes to specs. The NFC phone is running Samsung’s Bada operating system which is Samsung’s own mini OS. Fortunately the Samsung Wave 578 NFC phone will ship with Bada 2.0 OS (1.1 wasn’t too hot) if rumors from the Russian website Bada World are true. As far as hardware and capabilities, the Samsung Wave 578 has a metallic body that houses a small WQVGA LCD 3.2 inch screen with a resolution of 432 x 240 pixels. It supports HSDPA that can suck down 3.6Mbps which isn’t too bad for a budget phone. It rocks two cameras, as we come to expect these days. The one up front is a VGA shooter while around back you will find a 3.2 mega pixel unit. On the video front we don’t see any HD action happening, but it does support playback at 30fps and recording at 20fps. This won’t replace the family handy cam at important events, but will probably be good enough to catch your dog doing something weird for Facebook.
Posted by Seth PlanckJune 17th, 2011 at 5:02 PM Filed Under Galleries, Rumor, Videos
We have heard rumbles in the rumor mill for sometime that Huawei has been working on NFC phones. Today we get a first look at what the low cost smartphone manufacturer has in mind which comes in the form of the Huawei Sonic, otherwise lovingly known as the U8650NFC. The Huawei Sonic is not going to take any bleeding edge awards for the amount of technology they have managed to pack inside the Android Gingerbread NFC phone, but it may well get honored as being the lowest cost NFC-enabled smartphone. Details are sketchy at this time but here is what we have on the Huawei Sonic so far:
Huawei Sonic NFC phone specifications
Details are a little light on the ground at the moment but we do have a few specs to share about the Huawei Sonic NFC phone:
The NFC phone runs on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with a custom UI. The Huawei Sonic also sports a 3.5 inch touch capacitive screen, however, we know nothing about resolution unknown at this point. As far as its shooter, the U8650NFC sports a 3.2 mega pixel rear camera with no flash, 256 MB of ram, and 512 MB of internal memory. It is unclear at the moment if the device takes external memory (we would imagine it would support MicroSD but this is unconfirmed). The Huawei is also said to have GPS capabilities.