Nokia Unveils Another Entry-Level Symbian NFC Phone

Nokia today introduced yet another Symbian-based NFC phone, the Nokia 603, which like other recent models, it is targeting at first-time smartphone users.

Nokia said it would begin to ship the phone later this year. The phone, which will support the latest version of Symbian, called Belle, will join three other NFC-enabled Symbian Belle models that Nokia is in the process of shipping, the 600, 700 and 701. The Finnish phone maker also has the Nokia C7 and MeeGo-based N9 on the market supporting NFC.

Like its other NFC phones, Nokia is playing up the NFC features of the new phone, especially touting content sharing and device pairing. Today, it also unveiled a uniquely designed Bluetooth headset that users could tap with their NFC phones to automatically pair the devices. The phone, like Nokia's other recent NFC models, also will do tag reading and comes preloaded with games, such as the NFC version of Angry Birds, whose owner, Finland-based Rovio, has a promotional tie-in with Nokia. 

Nokia has indicated that all of its remaining Symbian phones will be NFC-enabled, even as it gears up to introduce its first handsets based on Microsoft's Windows Phone. But the first NFC-enabled model, which will support Windows Phone 8, will not arrive until next year, as NFC Times reported earlier.

While the 603 and other Symbian models don’t support NFC payment yet, as NFC Times reported earlier, all or most of the new the Symbian phones will come with a single-wire protocol connection built-in, which could be activated with a software update. This would enable secure applications, such as payment, to be stored on SIM cards that mobile operators issue. The update is expected to be available during the first half of 2012. The C7, however, probably won't be able to be used for payment, even with updates.

“The Nokia 603 continues the renewal of our smartphone range with products that are uniquely matched to the needs of people around the world,” Tuula Rytila, a Nokia senior vice president, said in a statement today, adding that Nokia’s smartphones, among other things, “will contain unexpected surprises like the ability to tap to pair and share with NFC.”

Nokia said the 603 would be available for the Christmas shopping season and will cost €200 (US$274.30), without operator subsidy. Another Nokia site quoted the price in British pounds, at £200 (US$313.34). The Luna Bluetooth headset will cost €69 (US$94.64), said Nokia.

HEADLINE NEWS

NXP Semiconductors Sues Marvell for Alleged Patent Infringement

Netherlands-based chip maker NXP Semiconductors has filed a patent infringement suit against rival chip maker, U.S.-based Marvell Semiconductor, which claims that Marvell infringed on four of its U.S. patents in chips sold to Microsoft for its Xbox One gaming console.

Spanish Airline Adds NFC Card Tapping to Mobile Booking App

Spanish airline Vueling has added an NFC feature to its mobile application, allowing users to tap a contactless card with an NFC handset to fill in part of their card data, which they could then use to book a flight with the app.

OTI Announces Wave Attachment for Taiwan, but Actual Deployment Small

Israel-based NFC vendor On Track Innovations has announced the deployment of its NFC-enabled Wave smartphone attachment in Taiwan, targeted for the iPhone, though only 10,000 units are being distributed, and Apple has not yet approved an iOS wallet app used with the devices for a planned mobile-payments service by Taiwanese banks, NFC Times has learned.

NFC Forum Working on Specification for Tags Supporting ISO 15693 Standard

NFC Times Exclusive – The NFC Forum is working on a tag Type 5 specification based on the ISO/IEC 15693 standard, NFC Forum executive director Paula Hunter has confirmed to NFC Times. She did not release a timeframe for publishing of the new specification, however.

Poland Seen as Testing Ground for HCE, Though Timetable for Commercial Launches Uncertain

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – With its high penetration of contactless POS terminals and strong use of contactless cards, payment networks, banks and telcos have seen Poland as a t

Broadcom Announces NFC Chip Aimed at Automotive Market as It Targets IoT

U.S.-based chip maker Broadcom announced it is sampling a new NFC chip targeting the automotive market.

Top 10 Misses for NFC in 2014; Project Backers Look to Recover Momentum in 2015

Jan 7 2015

NFC Times Exclusive – While the NFC industry saw a breakthrough in 2014 with the launch of Apple Pay, the year also was marked by a number of disappointments and missed opportunities.

Banking TSM Joint Venture Announces Launch of Service in Taiwan’s Fragmented NFC Market

NFC Times Exclusive Insight: TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan’s banking joint venture, Taiwan Mobile Payment Co., as expected, announced the launch of its TSM service Tuesday, with at least 32 Taiwanese banks planning to make their Visa- and MasterCard-branded payment cards available to be downloaded and provisioned by the TSM.

Taiwan’s Telco TSM Joint Venture Announces Launch Plans, but Faces Market Challenges

Dec 30 2014

NFC Times Exclusive Insight: TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan’s mobile operator TSM joint venture Thursday announced plans to launch NFC service in the second quarter, following a trial within the next few months–though it remains to be seen when the JV will be ready for a full-scale commercial launch.

RBC: HCE Pilot to Lead to 2015 Commercial Launch; But Bank Says it Will Keep Hybrid Payments Service

NFC Times Exclusive – The Royal Bank of Canada plans a commercial launch of host-card emulation in 2015 following a small employee pilot of HCE payments, but declined to specify a date, head of payments innovation Jeremy Bornstein told NFC times in an interview.

Mozido Acquires NFC and Wallet Vendor CorFire, Plans to Continue TSM

U.S.-based Mozido has acquired majority ownership of SK C&C USA, known as CorFire, giving the Austin-based supplier of cloud-based, white-label mobile payments and commerce products NFC technology.

Case Study: One Year on, Tim Hortons' HCE App Not Yet Available for Android Devices

NFC Times Exclusive – A year after its launch of closed-loop HCE NFC payments for BlackBerry 10 devices, Canadian-based coffee chain Tim Hortons has yet to roll out HCE for Android, continuing to offer only a bar-code-based version of the gift card service instead on non-BlackBerry platforms, although mobile app and HCE vendor Clearbridge Mobile says the BlackBerry launch received a positive response from customers.