Nokia

Headquarters: 
Finland

To those who criticize Nokia for the rather bland handsets it has outfitted with NFC and put onto the market, the handset maker responds–with some justification–that it has done more than any other phone maker to advance NFC technology.

Since co-founding the NFC Forum, the industry’s major trade group, in early 2004 with NFC co-creators Philips Semiconductors and Sony, Nokia has introduced NFC versions of four handsets. The phones have been the workhorses of most of the dozens NFC trials held to date. (See Project Database).

Another phone, the Nokia 6216, was delayed, then Nokia pulled the plug on the project. The 6216 was to be another mid-tier feature phone, like the others, except that it was to support a standard connection to the SIM card, which then could have stored payment, ticketing or other applications securely in the phones. Nokia has resisted the move by mobile operators to establish the SIM card as the preferred secure chip to store the NFC applications. This gives the telcos more control over the applications since operators issue the SIMs.

Then in June 2010, Nokia announced it would begin to move its Symbian smartphones to NFC. It then quietly began shipping its first Symbian-based NFC phone, the C7, in October 2010, though the handset maker said the phone model needed an NFC software upgrade before the NFC features would work. 

Some observers have thought Nokia had its own plans for controlling the phone, even becoming an NFC service provider in its own right and using a secure chip it embeds in the phones, rather than the SIM, to store applications.

In August 2009, Nokia announced plans to launch Nokia Money, a purely network-based service, with which the handset maker hopes to enable consumers to send money, pay bills, make purchases with merchants and top-up prepaid mobile accounts. All money transfers and payment would use SMS or another network channel and would target developing countries, where bank accounts and payment cards are scarce.

Of course, Nokia could eventually try to put the Nokia Money application onto NFC phones to allow for proximity payment. It would need an acceptance infrastructure of contactless readers to make such an idea work, however. That's unlikely to happen soon in the target market.

In any case, Nokia appears to be keeping its options open to insure the SIM card does not control all applications that get downloaded to NFC phones. After losing a standards battle in the mobile operator’s den, the SIM committee of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, the handset maker went to the NFC Forum in mid-2009 to adopt what some consider a competing standard.

Meanwhile, Nokia says it plans to introduce more NFC phones, some of them high-end. Anssi Vanjoki, who will lead the effort to revamp Nokia's troubled smartphone division, announced in June 2010 that beginning in 2011, Nokia's Symbian smartphones would begin to support NFC globally. Vanjoki apparently sees NFC as a way to beat back the challenge from Apple's iPhone and makers of Android-based smartphones.

Key figures: 
Phone Figures
Q3 2008 Q4 2008 Q1 2009 Q2 2009 Q3 2009
Handset Shipments 117.8 113.1 93.2 103.2 108.5
Global Market Share 38.5% 38.5% 38.1% 37.8% 37.8%
In millions of units
Source: Strategy Analytics
Key NFC Personnel: 
Gerhard Romen, vice chairman, NFC Forum, director of mobile financial services, Nokia
Kristiina Ilkka, NFC product marketing manager
Andrea Bacioccola, lead program manager for NFC, Windows Phone program
Major NFC and Contactless competitors: 

Samsung, LG, Apple, HTC

Last Updated: 
Apr 2012
Author: 
Balaban

HEADLINE NEWS

Alipay to Expand Acceptance of Mobile Wallet in Russia

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Alipay is expanding acceptance in another overseas market, Russia, seeking to capture business from Chinese tourists who travel to the country.

Apple Discloses Plans for Four More Apple Pay Markets; Confirms Most Transactions Outside of U.S.

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple Tuesday disclosed plans to launch its mobile payments service in four more small markets, including three countries in the Nordics, with the tech giant seeing higher usage of Apple Pay outside of the U.S., where NFC-enabled POS terminals are still not widely available.

As Use of Wallets for In-Store Payments Disappoint, P2P Payments to Surpass $120 Billion in 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Research firm eMarketer predicts that mobile peer-to-peer payments in the U.S. will grow by 55% to more than $120 billion in 2017, an amount that is expected to double by 2021.

Mastercard Launches Campaign to Push New Zealand Retailers to Accept Contactless Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Mastercard has launched an initiative to encourage retailers in New Zealand to adopt contactless payments, noting that nearly three-quarters of New Zealanders use contactless.

Banks and PayPal Announce More Deals for In-Store Transactions, But It’s Unclear When NFC-Enabled PayPal Wallet Will Arrive

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Although Bank of America announced that its customers would “soon” be able to use the PayPal Wallet to pay for purchases in stores using NFC, a bank spokeswoman has told NFC Times that the NFC-enabled wallet might not even be available next year.

Experts: Don’t Expect the Amazon Go or Uber Payments Concept to Hit the Retail Chains Anytime Soon

NFC TIMES Exclusive – With the widespread use of Uber and launch of the Amazon Go experiment, some payments industry observers are predicting it might not be too long before invisible payments comes to brick-and-mortar stores.

Swatch Pay One of the First Low-Tech Payments Wearables That Can be Provisioned After the Sale: How It Works

Jul 21 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While such smartwatches as the Apple Watch are routinely provisioned with payments cards after they are in the hands of consumers, that hasn’t been the case for low-tech analog watches. Swatch Pay could change that.

Analysis: Apple Tries to Jump-Start Apple Pay in China with Generous Week-Long Discounts and Offers

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – ­Apple, which is losing its battle badly for market share in China’s huge mobile payments market, has launched one week of generous promotions in hopes it can begin to turn the tide.

PayPal Hopes Samsung Deal Will Help It End String of Failures in Tapping Offline Merchants

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – PayPal is believed to have cut its deal with Samsung to be part of the Samsung Pay wallet mainly to gain access to the device maker’s MST technology, enabling consumers to pay in stores with their PayPal accounts without having to look for an NFC-enabled POS terminal.

Backers of WeChat Pay and Alipay Continue to Expand Acceptance Outside of China

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – China’s two large mobile payments services, Alipay and WeChat Pay, continue to roll out acceptance in Europe, North America and other parts of Asia, as they follow Chinese tourists to these destinations.

Denmark’s Largest Bank Plans to Expand Reach of Its Growing MobilePay Wallet; Continues to Favor BLE over NFC and QR Codes

NFC TIMES Exclusive –  Danske Bank’s MobilePay service in Denmark is one of the few mobile-wallet success stories globally, though on a small scale. Now the bank is planning to expand to other Nordic countries and seeks to continue to use BLE technology, not NFC, to enable the in-store piece of its mobile payments service.

Despite Launch of Three Major ‘Pays’ in Taiwan, Visa Plans to Also Support QR Code Payments on Island

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Visa says it plans to support QR code-based mobile payments late next year in Taiwan–a market where all three major “Pays” wallets have launched supporting Visa-branded cards with NFC.