NXP Confirms Chip Supply for Huawei Android Phone

NXP Semiconductors has announced it is supplying the NFC chip for the Android phone launched this summer by Turkish operator Turkcell and made by Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei.

The maker of the chip was in little doubt, since the Turkcell-branded T20 phone, also known as the Huawei U8650NFC Sonic, supports Google’s Android-Gingerbread operating system. NXP is believed to be supplying all of the NFC chips for Android phones, at least those coming to market over the next several months. NXP also supplies NFC software that runs on the Android phones.

As NFC Times first reported in June, Turkcell, Turkey’s No. 1 mobile operator, is the first to launch the Huawei NFC phone. The phone supports the telco’s mobile wallet, Cep-T Cüzdan, and a MasterCard Worldwide PayPass application issued by Turkish bank Yapı Kredi. Garanti bank, another large Turkish bank, is following with a PayPass application for the phone.

Turkcell officially launched the T20 in early July, but did not mention the NFC chip maker. So NXP, with its announcement today, is seeking to capitalize on the first NFC-enabled Android phone model in the market used for payment and multiple secure applications.

Google’s Nexus S 4G, which will run the Google Wallet and a PayPass application issued by Citigroup, along with a separate Google-branded prepaid PayPass application, is set to launch this fall.

NXP, while owning the large majority of design wins from handset makers planning NFC phones, took a public relations hit in late July when it sharply reduced its projection for NFC phone shipments this year to 40 million or fewer. That’s based on lower-than-expected shipments of NFC-enabled Android phones.

The Nexus S carries an NXP chip, the PN65, which is stacked with an embedded secure element that is also supplied by the Netherlands-based chip maker. The Huawei Android phone, on the other hand, carries NXP’s PN544 NFC chip, which supports only the single-wire protocol and applications on SIM cards.

Huawei Technologies, which is mainly a supplier of telecom network infrastructure, ranked as the 9th largest maker of mobile phones in the second quarter of 2011, shipping an estimated 9 million units, according to U.S.-based research firm Gartner.

The vendor is expected to introduce the U8650NFC Sonic in other markets and to produce other affordable NFC-enabled Android smartphones. Those phones likely would carry an NXP chip.

MasterCard granted a waiver to Turkcell to use the T20 for PayPass, but the telco said the phone is undergoing certification testing for performance and security. Turkcell is planning more of its own branded NFC phones to support its mobile wallet, NFC Times has learned.

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