NFC on all Nokia smartphones from 2011
NFC is scheduled to be one of the new features in the Symbian^4 platform. It was originally targeted for inclusion in Symbian^3, but was pushed back to the later release to avoid overall delays. Therefore it seems likely that we will see NFC in a select number of Nokia's Symbian^4 products, in select markets, at some point in 2011.
Nokia will also roll out a set of tools for third party developers for them to integrate NFC-related features into their applications.
Nokia has not yet announced technical details for its smart phones. Especially, Nokia has not indicated a clear technical option regarding the secure element needed for NFC financial transactions and other secure functions. Anssi Vanjoki explained that the phones would support all open business models, suggesting that they will include support for both SWP and other secure element formats such as MicroSD cards and, perhaps, an embedded secure element too. "Nokia is evaluating different approaches, but is not disclosing, at the current time, which implementation it will use in its products", he said. Nokia recently introduced Nokia Money, its own mobile banking and payment service (cf. Smart Insights Weekly #09-48), which could be integrated by default on all Nokia handsets.
However, it is not totally clear yet whether NFC functionalities will be included in all Nokia smart phones, or if Nokia will just start to introduce it into its smartphone portfolio in 2011. As with other technologies that Nokia has introduced in recent years (e.g. GPS), it will likely first appear in high-end devices and then trickle down to lower end devices over time.
This is an important change of attitude for Nokia, as the company was suspected of having lowered its expectations level in NFC. One may remember the Nokia 6131, and then the 6212, were supposed to be replaced by the 6216 SWP NFC which cancelled even before being finalized. Now, Nokia has notified distributors and systems integrators of the plans to discontinue the 6212, the only Nokia NFC handset for the time being.