Reports: More NFC-Enabled Smartphones Headed to Market Soon

More reports and rumors are surfacing of new NFC-enabled smartphones headed to market, including a successor to the popular Android-based Galaxy S from Samsung.

That phone, referred to as the Samsung Galaxy S2, could debut at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.

While the reports, originating in Samsung’s home base of South Korea, remain rumors, it looks promising that the Galaxy S sequel will pack NFC, since it is expected to sport the new version of the Android operating system, called Gingerbread, which has built-in NFC support. Samsung would just have to add the NFC chip.

Anticipation is running high for the new phone, since Samsung sold an impressive 10 million copies of the Galaxy S last year. The new version of the popular phone is expected to have an even larger screen and a dual-core processor.

In addition, mobile rumor mill the Boy Genius Report claimed to have gotten its hands on photos and specs for three NFC-enabled BlackBerrys, including a flagship BlackBerry phone, the Dakota. The site also said the next-generation BlackBerry Curve and BlackBerry Torch 2 will get the NFC treatment.

There is no firm word on when the new NFC-enabled BlackBerrys will arrive. NFC Times had learned that BlackBerry NFC phones would carry Inside Secure’s new stacked NFC chip. But production of this SecuRead chip is not expected until April.

These chips come with embedded secure elements, which sources have told NFC Times is important to BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, though it’s not clear yet what types of secure applications the handset maker plans to support with the chips.

NFC chip makers NXP Semiconductors and Inside Secure, formerly Inside Contactless, in October told NFC Times they projected 40 million to 50 million NFC handsets would be on the market by the end of 2011. NXP later upgraded the projection to well above 50 million.

The rumored NFC phones follow Google’s Nexus S, also made by Samsung, into the market. The handset, the first phone to support Gingerbread, hit store shelves last month.

Nokia was the first to have a smartphone on the market with an NFC chip inside, the C7, released last fall. But the phone needs a software upgrade to turn on the NFC functionality.

Article comments

junaidkk Jan 18 2011

SIM based NFC phones are available?

Dan Balaban's picture
Dan Balaban Jan 19 2011

There are two NFC phones now on the market supporting applications on SIM cards and the single-wire protocol standard, neither are smartphones: The Samsung S5230, used in the French Nice trial and the Sitges trial in Spain, and the Cosyphone from Sagem Wireless. The Android-based Nexus S probably supports it, too, though there are no APIs for running applications on secure elements in the Android operating system yet. More SWP-enable phones are expected this year.

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