RIM Announces Two New NFC-Enabled BlackBerrys
Research in Motion has introduced two new NFC-enabled BlackBerry models, the Bold 9790 and Curve 9380, which the handset maker said would be released in coming weeks in various countries.
RIM indicated in its press announcement today that NFC in the new devices would enable mobile payments, pairing of accessories and reading smart-poster tags.
Both phones run the latest BlackBerry 7 operating system, which offers native support for NFC, provided there are NFC chips in the devices. The two new phones will support an embedded secure element for payment and other applications, along with support for the single-wire protocol standard, enabling applications to be stored on the SIM.
The latest version of BlackBerry 7 includes the BlackBerry Tag feature, which promotes NFC’s peer-to-peer communication mode. This lets users to tap NFC-enabled BlackBerrys together to share contact information, documents, URLs, photos and other content, RIM noted last month. And users will be able to tap their phones to add one another as contacts for RIM’s instant messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger.
The two new models add to two other sets of NFC-enabled Bold and lower-end Curve models that RIM has already released: the related Bold 9900 and 9930, and Curve 9350, 9360 and 9370. RIM announced in late October that two of those BlackBerrys, the Bold 9900 and Curve 9360 were the first NFC-enabled smartphones that MasterCard has certified for PayPass running on SIM cards.
RIM hopes that NFC among other enhancements in its new operating system will help it at least slow its slide against smartphones from Apple and Android handset makers.
With the Bold 9790 and the Curve 9380, RIM is tied with Nokia for the most NFC-enabled smartphones either announced or shipping–at seven. That counts the closely related Curve 9350, 9360 and 9370 and almost identical Bold 9900 and 9930 as separate models.
Nokia has launched Symbian-based NFC phones, the C7, 600, 700, 701, Oro and 603, along with the N9 MeeGo.