Orange Hits Half-Million Mark for NFC Handsets in France, Though Misses 2011 Goal

BARCELONA – France Telecom-Orange has sold 500,000 NFC phones in France to date and is putting new models on sale at an increasing rate, said Thierry Millet, head of payments and contactless at Orange group.

But the France-based telco took two more months than expected to hit the 500,000-phone goal. Orange had predicted it would reach the half-million mark before the end of 2011. Millet said the telco did sell 500,000 phones before the end of last year counting phones sold by the Orange UK branch, site of the group's other NFC commercial launch.

Millet, speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, said the operator had seven NFC phones on sale by the end of 2011 and has validated six new phones during the first quarter of 2012 alone, which would cover France and the United Kingdom. It currently has about 10 NFC-enabled phones on sale from six handset makers, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Acer, Nokia, Research in Motion and Sony.

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