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

Giesecke & Devrient Reports Falling Sales, Lower Profits for 2013

Germany-based Giesecke & Devrient was no doubt glad to close the books on 2013, a year in which it saw substantial job cuts and changes in management and–as it reported Wednesday–lower sales and profitability.

Inside Secure Acquires Security Vendor Metaforic with Eye Toward Host-Card Emulation Market

France-based Inside Secure has acquired encryption and software security company Metaforic in a cash deal worth at least $11.6 million, which Inside Secure says will help equip it to offer security services for host-card emulation-based mobile payments.

Financial Review: Publicly Traded NFC Vendors Show Mixed Results for 2013

NFC Times Exclusive: All publicly traded vendors across the NFC ecosystem have filed their year-end earnings reports, and the results show a mixed bag of promising sales for contactless and EMV technology, continued restructuring and expected challenges ahead with the advent of host-card emulation.

China Telecom Chooses NFC SIM Vendors for Large Planned Procurement

Apr 18 2014 (All day)

China’s No. 3 mobile operator, China Telecom, has selected a list of six SIM vendors for its large planned rollout of NFC services.

Intel Buys Inside Secure’s NFC Modem Technology; Expands License of Inside's NFC Patents

Apr 2 2014 (All day)

Inside Secure is selling its next generation NFC controller technology to chip maker Intel, as well as an expanded license, for $19.2 million, though will keep most of its NFC patents and embedded chip technology.

Big French Bank Announces Nationwide Rollout of NFC-Payments Service on SIMs

Apr 4 2014 (All day)

BNP Paribas, one of France’s largest banks, today announced its long-anticipated nationwide rollout of NFC payments, making Visa-branded debit cards available to customers on SIM cards issued by France’s two largest mobile operators and a couple of smaller brands.

OTI Lowers Losses as It Continues Turnaround Efforts but Offers No Time Frame for Turning a Profit

In the first full year since a takeover ousted former CEO and co-founder Oded Bashan, Israel-based NFC and contactless company On Track Innovations showed some progress in its efforts to turn around the chronically unprofitable company, in part by focusing on sales of contactless point-of-sale terminals.

Australia’s Westpac to Launch First Project with Visa on Samsung Embedded Chips; HCE Gears Up in Market

A second of Australia’s big four banks, Westpac Banking Corp., said it will finally be ready to launch its long-planned NFC contactless payments service with Visa using embedded chips in Samsung phones by the end of April, the bank told NFC Times.

NFC SIM Volumes Projected to Show Moderate Growth in 2014, Though Impact of HCE Remains Unknown

NFC Times Exclusive: Mobile network operators will take delivery of at least two-thirds more NFC SIMs this year than in 2013, predicts operator trade association, the GSMA, though the impact of host-card emulation remains to be seen.

Identive Narrows Losses; Reports More Restructuring

U.S.-based Identive reported significant restructuring and job cuts in the fourth quarter, along with increased sales for NFC and other RFID tags–but still no profit.

NFC Forum Issues Statement Supporting HCE as Means to 'Accelerate' Market Growth

The NFC Forum has issued a statement of support for host-card emulation at its all-member meeting this week in San Francisco, calling HCE a “promising addition to the portfolio of NFC solutions that could potentially accelerate market growth.”

Tenders Due for TSM Platform Planned by Taiwanese Banking Joint Venture

NFC Times Exclusive: Tenders are due tomorrow from vendors in response to a request for proposal for Taiwan’s second planned centralized trusted service management platform–this one from Taiwanese banking groups, which formed a mobile-payments joint venture late last month.