Nokia's C7 handset can read NFC (Near Field Communication) tags, and operate as an NFC tag itself, with a downloaded update coming next year. This will be followed by software to drive the secure element. The secure element will be needed to manage proximity payment systems, such as London's Oyster network, but Nokia still isn't …
The Chicken or the egg question
This question of the chicken and egg is always there.
I have a Nokia N92, the first with mobile television. It worked surprisingly well, much better than I would have expected. Much better and completely usable. I still have some films I recorded, like Blade Runner, for instance.
But then suddenly there was nobody who wanted to deliver anything. To day one ISP agains a monthly charge.
I cannot blame Nokia for that.
The NFC feature is a similar adventure. but you need the hardware before you can use any services. Nokia is taking a risk, but is there any choice.
When you can finally do something with NFC...
... then Nokia will push out a software update for the phones in the relevant countries and start marketing the C7 as a NFC capable phone. Until then it makes little sense, especially while they're still hammering out technical the details.
Quite sensible, considering how many marketing blunders Nokia's made in the past.
Can't help thinking that Nokia...
...will do all the leg work with NFC - agree the standards, build the prototypes, perform extensive trials - only for Apple to come along with a "magical" iPhone5 device and steal all the credit by actually making NFC usable after signing up high street retailers and transport companies with prominently displayed "iPhone" branded proximity payment points, and of course building novel support for NFC into their desktop computers and pads.
Nokia: Get your product out there and NFC payment points on the high street or you'll be left behind, again.
Somebody has to be the egg
When all other manufacturers are too chicken to include NFC, somebody has to be the egg.
Nokia should stop messing about with NFC
and concentrate on making a decent phone again.
Back to basics people.
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