buy metformin online

Motorola Mobility to Release First Commercial NFC Phone

Motorola Mobility will soon release its first commercial NFC phone, an upper-end Android LTE smartphone that U.S. mobile carrier Sprint plans to introduce.

The phone could be out as early as next month, sporting a full QWERTY slide-out keyboard and “business ready” full corporate security.

Sprint announced the phone Thursday, although didn’t disclose the release date. And it didn’t say whether the phone would support the Google Wallet or NFC payment–despite the fact that Motorola Mobility is now a division of Google and Sprint remains the only operator supporting the Google Wallet.

Sprint also is planning its own mobile wallet, Touch, although there was no mention of that, either, in its announcement of the Motorola phone.

Regarding NFC, Sprint only said the phone, which runs Android 4.04, Ice Cream Sandwich, would support the enhanced peer-to-peer NFC feature, Android Beam, which Google introduced for Android 4.0.

Motorola didn’t mention the NFC functionality in the phone at all on the pages of its Web site promoting the new handset. Google has said the division will be autonomous from its other businesses.

Nine Out of 10, but Not Apple
Still, the announcement of the phone now means that nine out of the top ten handset makers worldwide by unit shipments support NFC, including Samsung Electronics, Nokia, ZTE, LG Electronics, Sony Mobile and HTC, notes Einar Rosenberg, head of U.S.-based NFC application provider Narian Technologies.

The obvious exception is Apple, and despite all the rumors that the tech giant will incorporate NFC in its next iPhone, that is anything but certain. Some knowledgeable sources told NFC Times they doubt Apple will support NFC this time and instead will wait until next year.

Rosenberg, a veteran watcher of Apple’s possible moves toward NFC, says he doesn’t know whether the next iPhone–due out this fall–will have an NFC chip inside it or not. Yet, despite Apple’s clout in the smartphone industry, Rosenberg notes that the iPhone and its iOS continue to lose ground to Android smartphones, led by models from Samsung. 

According to U.S.-based research firm IDC, 59% of smartphones shipped worldwide during the first quarter of 2012 supported Android compared with 23% for iOS. That’s up from 36.7% market share for Android and 18.6% for iOS a year earlier.

UPDATE: But research firm Strategy Analytics reportedly estimates that Apple's iOS made up a bit of ground against Android in the U.S. smartphone market in the second quarter of 2012. The firm estimates that Android handset makers shipped 13.4 million units during the quarter for a 56% market share of the U.S. market, down from a 61% share during the same quarter a year earlier. That compares with Apple's share of 33.2% share in the latest quarter, up from 23.3% a year earlier. END UPDATE.

Nonetheless, the Android operating system still accounts for well over half the market in both the U.S. and worldwide, and Android phone makers have embraced NFC, noted Rosenberg, who estimated that a cumulative total of 20 million NFC phones have been shipped in the U.S. as of this month, nearly all of them Android phones. That includes the Samsung Galaxy S III and its predecessor, the Galaxy S II, along with the HTC One X and its cousin, the Evo 4G LTE, as well as Google’s Galaxy Nexus, made by Samsung. Worldwide, NFC phones are approaching 100 million units over nearly the past two years, he estimated.

“Nine out of 10 phone makers are shipping, and the fact (is) that Apple’s might has been shrinking rapidly in the past 12 months,” Rosenberg said. “Why do you think that Apple is running scared with all these patent fights? You think they didn’t have these patents a year or two ago. Why now?”

It is a matter of opinion just what impact another snub of NFC by Apple will have. But in addition to Android, the first Windows 8 Phone devices supporting NFC are expected this year.

As for Motorola Mobility's first commercial NFC phone, the Photon Q 4G LTE almost certainly uses an NFC chip from NXP Semiconductors, which has supplied all Android NFC phones to date. And more and more Android NFC phone makers are ordering NXP’s PN65, which comes stacked with an embedded secure chip. These phone makers include Samsung and HTC, NFC Times has learned. The NFC chips also can support the single-wire protocol connection to the NFC chip.

Motorola has worked on NFC technology for years and holds some key patents. Its SLVR L7 was used in NFC trials at least as far back as 2007.

The separate Motorola Solutions company introduced a PDA-like NFC phone, the MC75A HF mobile computer, in 2011 targeted at enterprises.

HEADLINE NEWS

TI’s NFC Sensor Transponder Latest Product to Target Wearables, IoT Markets

Dec 20 2014

U.S-based Texas Instruments said it expects to see prototype launches of devices using its recently launched NFC sensor transponder in the first quarter of 2015, as the U.S.-based chip maker seeks a larger stake in the promising markets for wearables, Internet of Things and industrial applications that sometimes require an NFC interface.

NFC SIMs in Short Supply for Chunghwa Telecom's NFC Rollout

NFC Times Exclusive – TAIPEI, Taiwan – Gemalto announced this week that it is providing NFC SIM cards for Chunghwa Telecom’s commercial launch of NFC services, but availability of the SIMs to the telco’s subscribers are extremely limited and none of the telco’s shops or service centers currently have the cards, NFC Times has learned.

Magyar Telekom Launches Hungary’s First NFC Payments Service; Hopes to Avoid Threats to SIM-Based NFC

Dec 11 2014

NFC Times Exclusive – Hungary’s largest telco, which last week launched NFC payments commercially, believes it can avoid problems and threats encountered by other telcos launching

People on the Move: Awad Returns to Broadcom’s NFC Program as Chip Maker’s NFC Business Lags Behind Chief Rivals

Dec 4 2014

NFC Times Exclusive – Mohamed Awad, who formerly headed Broadcom’s NFC business, has returned to oversee the program, among other duties, as Broadcom looks to reinvigorate a progra

NFC Telco Pioneer Turkcell Pulls Back on Support for Technology

NFC Times Exclusive – Turkey’s largest mobile operator, Turkcell, one of the first telcos globally to launch NFC service commercially, has pulled back from the technology, having seen too little take-up for NFC retail payments, NFC Times has learned.

Gemalto Seeks to Reposition TSM Offer as ‘Hub,’ as It Tries to Counter Threats to Its NFC Business; but is It Really a Hub?

Dec 1 2014

NFC Times Exclusive – With the role of the TSM coming under increasing pressure for being too complex and costly, Gemalto, the world’s largest TSM, is seeking to reposition its TSM offer–promoting it as being part of a large “trusted services hub,” as the France-based vendor tries to convince more banks to provision their credit and debit cards on NFC SIMs.

NXP Seeks to Open Up Access to Embedded Chips in Android Phones

Nov 20 2014

With interest growing again in embedded secure elements in NFC phones to store applications, thanks to Apple Pay, NXP Semiconductors is trying to drive demand for its embedded chips in Android phones by making it easier for service providers to load their applications on the silicon.

Orange NFC Chief: We Want to Talk to Apple about Putting Orange Cash on iPhone

NFC Times Exclusive: The head of mobile payments for France-based mobile operator Orange Group said he wants to talk to Apple about enabling the telco’s co-branded payment application, Orange Cash, on the Apple Pay platform. 

Visa, MasterCard: Secure In-App Payments with Apple Pay a ‘Game Changer,’ but Card-Not-Present Rates Remain

NFC Times Exclusive: While the thought of more consumers tapping their phones to pay in stores is attracting the most attention with the launch of Apple Pay, it’s the prospect of users paying for purchases in mobile apps with Apple Pay that could be the real breakthrough, say representatives of Visa and MasterCard Worldwide. 

OTI Reduces Growth Estimate and Pushes Back Positive EBITDA Prediction

Israeli-based NFC and contactless company On Track Innovations pushed back its prediction for positive adjusted EBITDA back to the third quarter of 2015 and reduced its estimate for 2014 revenue growth to 10%, down from the 30% it had predicted previously, the company reported in its quarterly earnings call.

DeviceFidelity Acquired by mPOS and Reader Component Supplier Kili

Canada-based Kili Technology, which supplies hardware modules, firmware and IP for mobile point of sale, readers and other payment-acceptance devices, has acquired NFC-accessories vendor DeviceFidelity.

Subway Eschews Exclusivity, Supports Multiple Mobile Wallets

NFC Times Exclusive: LAS VEGAS, Nev. – While a number of major U.S. merchants have pledged to only accept one mobile-payments service, that is not the case for giant Subway sandwich chain, which has now introduced at least three major options for its customers to pay with their smartphones.