Nokia Unveils Another Entry-Level Symbian NFC Phone

Nokia today introduced yet another Symbian-based NFC phone, the Nokia 603, which like other recent models, it is targeting at first-time smartphone users.

Nokia said it would begin to ship the phone later this year. The phone, which will support the latest version of Symbian, called Belle, will join three other NFC-enabled Symbian Belle models that Nokia is in the process of shipping, the 600, 700 and 701. The Finnish phone maker also has the Nokia C7 and MeeGo-based N9 on the market supporting NFC.

Like its other NFC phones, Nokia is playing up the NFC features of the new phone, especially touting content sharing and device pairing. Today, it also unveiled a uniquely designed Bluetooth headset that users could tap with their NFC phones to automatically pair the devices. The phone, like Nokia's other recent NFC models, also will do tag reading and comes preloaded with games, such as the NFC version of Angry Birds, whose owner, Finland-based Rovio, has a promotional tie-in with Nokia. 

Nokia has indicated that all of its remaining Symbian phones will be NFC-enabled, even as it gears up to introduce its first handsets based on Microsoft's Windows Phone. But the first NFC-enabled model, which will support Windows Phone 8, will not arrive until next year, as NFC Times reported earlier.

While the 603 and other Symbian models don’t support NFC payment yet, as NFC Times reported earlier, all or most of the new the Symbian phones will come with a single-wire protocol connection built-in, which could be activated with a software update. This would enable secure applications, such as payment, to be stored on SIM cards that mobile operators issue. The update is expected to be available during the first half of 2012. The C7, however, probably won't be able to be used for payment, even with updates.

“The Nokia 603 continues the renewal of our smartphone range with products that are uniquely matched to the needs of people around the world,” Tuula Rytila, a Nokia senior vice president, said in a statement today, adding that Nokia’s smartphones, among other things, “will contain unexpected surprises like the ability to tap to pair and share with NFC.”

Nokia said the 603 would be available for the Christmas shopping season and will cost €200 (US$274.30), without operator subsidy. Another Nokia site quoted the price in British pounds, at £200 (US$313.34). The Luna Bluetooth headset will cost €69 (US$94.64), said Nokia.


Citigroup to Launch ‘Citi Pay’ Mobile Payments Service with Help from Mastercard

NFC Times Exclusive – U.S.-based Citigroup plans to soon launch its own NFC-based mobile payments service, Citi Pay, in the U.S. and Asia, in part using technology from Mastercard, NFC Times has learned.

Apple Pay Launch in Japan Opens Up More Opportunities for Third-Party Vendors

NFC Times Exclusive – As Apple moves closer to launching Apple Pay in Japan, the FeliCa-based service is opening up business opportunities for third-party technology suppliers, unlike most other countries where Apple Pay has launched.

Seamless Goes Ahead with HCE Expansion of SEQR Mobile Wallet for European Users

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Following the initial soft launch of its NFC payments service in its home base, Sweden-based Seamless Distribution, the parent company of the SEQR wallet, is enabling HCE for all European users as it seeks global acceptance of its proprietary mobile payments service.

Apple Pay Expands to Russia with Support from Mastercard and Country’s Biggest Bank

Exclusive NFC Times Insight – Less than a week after Samsung switched on its mobile payments service in Russia, Apple has launched Apple Pay in the country, continuing the international expansion of its NFC payments service to a 10th market.

Reported Qualcomm Deal for NXP Not Expected to Limit NFC Chip Availability

Oct 4 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight –  If a planned acquisition by Qualcomm of NXP Semiconductors, as reported, were to go through, it would not affect supplies of NFC chips to smartphone makers using other processor chips, said an expert.

Samsung Pay to Launch in Russia with Support from Mastercard and Limited Number of Banks

Sep 30 2016

UPDATED: NFC Times Excusive Insight – Samsung Pay is expected to launch in Russia tomorrow, beating Apple to the market, which disclosed earlier this month that it plans a Russian launch of Apple Pay before the end of the year.

Two Major Taiwanese Telcos Plan to Adopt HCE, as They Deal with TSM Troubles and Imminent Arrival of OEM Pay

Sep 26 2016

NFC Times Exclusive –  In the first cases of its kind to come to light, two of Taiwan’s largest telcos are planning to support host card emulation in their wallets, as they seek to overcome problems with their joint TSM and to prepare for the coming of OEM Pay to Taiwan, expected in the first quarter of next year, NFC Times has learned.

Prepping for the Pays: Far EasTone Offers Range of Wallet Services It Believes Apple Can’t Match

NFC Times Exclusive – With the expected arrival of such OEM Pay services as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay as early as the first quarter of next year, Taiwan’s major telcos are gearing up to keep their own mobile wallets competitive.

Czech Banks See Opportunity for Deploying HCE Mobile Payments

NFC Times Exclusive – Czech banks are looking to capitalize on a growing contactless point-of-sale infrastructure in the country, with two of the five largest banks there having already launched HCE-based mobile payments and the others looking to join the market, NFC Times has learned.

OEM Pay Services Drive Renewed Interest in NFC Transit Ticketing, Especially in China

Sep 28 2016

NFC Times Exclusive – The planned launch of NFC transit ticketing in Japan next month with Apple Pay shined the spotlight on the emergence of closed-loop NFC transit ticketing–which has been seen as a prime application for NFC phones but one that has disappointed NFC backers for years.

Analysis: Agreements with Visa, Mastercard and Earlier Deal with Discover Could Help PayPal Reverse Years of Failures at Physical Point of Sale

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Agreements that were announced with Visa, Discover and, last week, Mastercard may finally help PayPal reverse years of failed attempts to enable customers to pay with its PayPal Wallet in stores.

Analysis: FeliCa Mobile Payment and Ticketing Nothing New in Japan, as Apple Strains for Apple Pay Developments to Spotlight

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple Wednesday confirmed that its new iPhone 7 smartphones and second-generation Apple Watch will support Sony’s proprietary FeliCa technology in Japan, as earlier reported, enabling transit and retail payments when Apple Pay launches in Japan next month. The tech giant will also expand Apple Pay into New Zealand and Russia this year, though was able to announce only one issuer so far between the two countries.