updated 01:55 pm EST, Wed February 16, 2011
RIM co-CEO confirms NFC coming to BlackBerry
RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie confirmed that NFC wireless payment capability is coming to many of its upcoming BlackBerry handsets during a keynote at Mobile World Congress. In doing so, it will join the likes of Nokia and Samsung, who already offer NFC-equipped handsets. Sony Ericsson, LG and HTC promise to bring out such devices soon, before year's end, coinciding with RIM's timing.
NFC, or Near Field Communications, allows for wireless mobile payments when paired with compatible software at distances of about two inches. Google provides native NFC support in its Android 2.3 operating system. Apple is rumored to be adding it to the iPhone 5.
Some manufacturers don't want to jump on the bandwagon unless it becomes popular and infrastructure is more readily available, as it adds cost and bulk in the already tight spaces of a smartphone.