Nokia is jumping even further onto the NFC bandwagon with plans to support the mobile payments technology in its latest Symbian phones and all future phones.
The Finish phone maker's current C7 handset and its new 700, 701, and 600 phones already include the NFC hardware and will fully support it by the first half of 2012, according to NFC World and other sources.
The company also plans to outfit all upcoming Symbian phones with the NFC chips as part of its aggressive move into the mobile payments market.
"From now on, all of our products will have an NFC chip inside," Ilari Nurmi, a vice-president of Nokia, said, according to the Bangkok Post. "All other NFC-equipped devices can also link to our products."
NFC, or near-field communications, lets consumers pay wirelessly for products on the go through an NFC-equipped smartphone. The industry is touting NFC as a wallet-less technology since people could conceivably leave their money and credit cards at home and pay for items at stores, restaurants, and other retail outlets through just a wave of their phone.
The technology has gotten off to a slow start as rolling out the various pieces to the puzzle has proven time-consuming. For NFC to work, all the major players--from mobile device makers to mobile carriers to financial companies to retailers--need to be on board. The industry also faces a challenge trying to convince consumers to trust their mobile phones to dole out the payments for goods and services.
A variety of companies have already been forming partnerships to try to drive NFC forward. Among handset makers, Google has jumped into the NFC pool by including the technology on some of its Android-based smartphones and reportedly teaming up with MasterCard and Citigroup to deliver a mobile-payment service.
Rumors have swirled as to whether Apple would add NFC to its iPhone, with some analysts doubtful that the technology would show up on the next iPhone.