Nokia Turns on the NFC Features in Its C7 Smartphone

Mar 23 2011

ORLANDO, FLA. ­– Nokia has enabled the NFC chip in its C7 smartphone for the devices it is shipping to T-Mobile USA, NFC Times has confirmed.

Marketed as the Astound in the United States, where it will be sold exclusively by T-Mobile starting April 6, the C7 smartphone will be able to do NFC tag reading and peer-to-peer communication, thanks to the upgraded Symbianˆ3.1 operating system in the phone, said a source. 

AT&T is planning to acquire T-Mobile USA, which is a unit of Germany-based Deutsche Telekom, though the deal still must get approval from regulators.

Nokia announced the phone today at the International CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, Fla., but did not disclose the NFC functionality in its press material. The phone’s menu, however, allows users to activate the NFC features, NFC Times has learned.

Nokia began shipping the C7 in October with an NFC chip inside, as NFC Times reported, but the Symbianˆ3 operating system did not have the software to support the NFC chip. 

With the NFC functionality now enabled, the C7 becomes the second NFC smartphone on the world market, after the Nexus S, which Google introduced in December. Update: Nokia is expected to disclose details of the availability of the NFC-enabed C7 outside of the United States by the third week of April. End update.

There are few Symbian apps in Nokia’s Ovi Store that support NFC, however. But an NFC application-programming interface and software development kit for developers to build tag-reading and P2P apps are available or soon will be, a source connected with Nokia told NFC Times. Nokia already sells a Bluetooth headset that is also NFC-enabled. Users could tap the latest version of the C7 to the headset for automatic Bluetooth pairing.

The NFC-enabled C7 cannot do payment or support other secure applications in card-emulation mode, at least not the version shipped to T-Mobile. The phone does not have an embedded secure chip and the Astound apparently doesn’t support applications on SIM cards.

But the NFC chip in the C7, from NXP Semiconductors, is likely able to support the single-wire protocol connection to the SIM card if ordered by mobile operators with the feature.

Nokia has said all of its Symbian smartphones shipped starting this year will support NFC, although Nokia will phase Symbian out over the next few years as it develops smartphones on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. The Nokia Windows phones are also expected to eventually support NFC.

HEADLINE NEWS

OTI Gets Favorable Ruling in NFC Patent Infringement Case; Reports Continued Losses for 2014

Mar 31 2015

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – A U.S. district court judge has ruled that T-Mobile USA infringed an NFC patent held by Israel-based On Track Innovations.

Microsoft Jumps on HCE Bandwagon Though Meager Windows Market Share for Smartphones Mutes Impact

Mar 26 2015

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Windows 10 for phones, set to be released later this year, will support host card emulation, or HCE, based NFC payments, Microsoft revealed at a recent Windows event in China.

G&D Supplies HCE Technology for Commonwealth Bank HCE Service

Mar 25 2015

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Germany-based Giesecke & Devrient confirmed it is providing the host-card emulation technology for Commonwealth Bank’s commercial HCE launch this month of Tap & Pay from the bank’s Android-based mobile-banking app.

Identiv Plays Up IoT Tag Business, but Losses Continued in 2014

Identiv CEO Jason Hart sounded optimistic tones about the company’s NFC tag business, particularly in “Internet of Things” applications or tags for consumer goods, during a conference call last week to discuss Identiv’s fourth quarter and full year 2014 earnings, but investors responded with less optimism.

Gemalto Claims 25% of U.S. EMV Market; Seeks to Take Spotlight Off SIM

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – France-based Gemalto, which is keen to take the spotlight off its SIM business, projects EMV cards to represent perhaps the largest expected source of revenue growth in the coming year.

Square Acquires Payment Processing Tech Vendor Kili; May be Planning NFC mPOS, but Will it Keep DeviceFidelity?

Mar 13 2015

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – UPDATED: Mobile point-of-sale device supplier Square has acquired payment processing component vendor Kili Technology, the same vendor that purchased NFC accessory vendor DeviceFidelity in November, but Square does not plan to keep DeviceFidelity, a source connected with Square told NFC Times.

Samsung Pay Unpacked: Details on Samsung’s Planned Business Model, Architecture and Unannounced Banks Revealed

NFC Times Exclusive – NFC Times has learned new details about how Samsung intends to make money from its planned payments service, Samsung Pay; as well as the technology architecture the OEM will use and the identity of two unannounced banks, along with a new category of issuer that is planning to participate.

Analysis: Gemalto Abandons Hard-Line Stance on NFC in Embracing Tokenization, Supporting HCE

NFC Times Exclusive – The public relations debacle Gemalto faced following revelations last month that U.S. and UK spy agencies had stolen keys from its SIM cards is not the only problem the France-based vendor has had to deal with regarding SIMs.

People on the Move: MasterCard Makes Executive Changes to Mobile Team

NFC Times Exclusive – MasterCard Worldwide has named James Anderson group executive for platforms, a key position inside the payment network, which is seeking to secure its role in the ecosystem as mobile payments start to gather steam, NFC Times has learned.

Commonwealth Bank Launching HCE; Other Australian Banks Expected to Follow

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – One of Australia’s largest banks, Commonwealth Bank, is launching NFC payments from its mobile-banking app using host-card emulation, having earlier tried embedded secure elements, contactless stickers and iPhone attachments.

Android Pay Expected to Support HCE, Targeted to Encourage More Third-Party Payments Apps

NFC Times Exclusive Insight ­– Google’s recently announced API for NFC payments applications, Android Pay, is expected to support apps using host card emulation, or HCE, but also likely will support storage of keys on hardware.

Apple Releases Launch Date, More Details for Smartwatch; Set to Become Premier Payments Wearable

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple’s new wearable, Apple Watch, will support Apple Pay as well as mobile keys for hotel rooms, the company announced Monday.