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Samsung pushes NFC at Olympics and in Japan

02/24, 6:20pm

Unveils 2012 Olympics' mobile pay app with Visa

Samsung has launched two new initiatives to encourage the usage of NFC mobile payment solutions. The phone and tablet maker has unveiled its official mobile payment app for the upcoming 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games in London later this year. Samsung also announced that it will work with FeliCa to design NFC compatible chip solutions supporting mobile wallet apps for mobile devices in Japan.

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Sony working on power outlets that can ID users

02/14, 2:35pm

Sony developing smart outlets that ID users

Sony is working on power outlets that could restrict flow of energy based on who plugs in, The Verge has learned. Sony would apply its NFC-based FeliCa payment tech and use it to determine identities and permissions, with applications likely to include selling power in public areas, preventing theft, and in large corporate buildings for employees. Each outlet would be equipped with an IC chip that could be made to read information from a similar chip built into the plug or a portable device with an NFC chip.

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KDDI, NTT DoCoMo, SoftBank unite on backing NFC standards

12/23, 4:15pm

Form consortium to coordinate efforts

Japan's three largest wireless carriers are uniting to ensure NFC standards compatibility. NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, and SoftBank are establishing the Japan Mobile NFC Consortium to coordinate the adoption of multiple international standards for NFC technologies used in their mobile devices and services. By doing so, the three hope to be able to offer lower-cost NFC services to both Japanese residents ans international visitors.

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NXP leaks Sony Ericsson's NFC phone plans

06/16, 3:45pm

Sony Ericsson to use NXP chip for NFC in handsets

NXP Semiconductors issued a press release on Thursday that reveals Sony Ericsson plans to introduce an NFC-capable handset, as the phone maker will use the PN65 chip in future handsets. The chip consists of the NFC radio controller, embedded secure element and NFC software. Sony Ericsson, whose phones use the Android operating system, hasn't pushed for NFC support, despite Google's inclusion of the needed software hooks in the later versions of its OS.

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Analyst says Bloomberg took NFC iPhone talk out of context

02/11, 2:45pm

Analyst says NFC iPhone rumor was just speculation

Envisioneering Group analyst Richard Doherty said on Wednesday that Bloomberg had distorted his talk of a possible NFC-aware iPhone. While he maintained that he has Chinese sources working on iPhone parts, he told NFC Times that these sources had only talked to app developers who speculated NFC wireless was coming. The business publication "overplayed" the speculation and treated it as fact even urged to correct the tone, Doherty alleged.

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Google buys Zetawire to get edge in NFC payments over rivals

12/13, 5:45pm

Google acquires NFC firm Zetawire

Google today was discovered as having bought previously low-profile firm Zetawire to improve its support for near-field communications (NFC) in Android phones like the Nexus S. The Toronto-based company had barely begun but had a US patent for an end-to-end way to pay for goods in person with a mobile device like a smartphone. It had closed the deal in August but hadn't been found until the 451 Group unearthed details in the wake of the Nexus S debut.

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Samsung preps NFC chip for phones with built-in flash

12/01, 5:20pm

Samsung intros NFC chip with flash, wireless

Continuing on its technolgy launches today, Samsung has revealed a new near field communications (NFC) chip designed for smartphones. The design is the first to have built-in flash memory and can be upgraded on the spot. Making the change would let phone creators adapt the chip to new formats and prevent them from being locked in.

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Sony and HID to unite FeliCa and NFC in notebooks, phones

10/12, 10:35am

Sony and HID Global merging FeliCa and NFC

Sony and HID Global today set out a plan to unite FeliCa and near-field communication (NFC) in notebooks. The technique should work with both formats and will give portables a way of paying for items or signing in just by bringing a card or another device up close, whether they're using the Japan-focused FeliCa or more universal NFC. The two are still in early stages and plan to make details and availability known next year.

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Apple already said testing NFC-equipped iPhone prototypes

08/17, 12:35pm

iPhone tests using near-field tech from NXP

Apple's plans for an iPhone with near-field wireless gained solidity today as a rumor claimed that prototypes already exist. The company is reportedly testing NFC chips made by NXP Semiconductor and is already using them for mobile payment tests. TechCrunch didn't elaborate further but noted Apple could switch to Broadcom or another firm for the finished product.

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Apple hire hints at iPhones with near-field wireless payment

08/15, 6:25pm

Apple may use NFC in future iPhones

Apple has quietly hired an expert in Near Field Communications (NFC) that hints it might use short range wireless on future iPhones. Benjamin Vigier was brought on by the company in July as the product manager for a previously unknown Mobile Commerce division. His most recent experience was at mFoundry, where he created an NFC-based payment system for a US bank but also handled mobile payment apps for Paypal, Sprint, Starbucks and a handful of US carriers.

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AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon prep smartphone credit/debit payment

08/02, 7:55am

US carriers to use NFC on phones for payment

Three of the larger US carriers are developing a smartphone-based alternative to a traditional credit or debit payment, sources claimed on Monday. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are developing a Near Field Communication system like Japan's FeliCa. Buyers would swipe a phone with an NFC chip near a reader to pay for goods at stores rather than use a card.

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Mophie to give Japanese iPhones FeliCa with apps

01/18, 9:40am

Mophie FeliCa to

Mophie today promised to give Japanese iPhone owners much-requested support for FeliCa wireless payments. The team-up with two local firms will see a version of Mophie's casing that uses the same RFID wireless as the Sony standard. In tandem with an iPhone app, the add-on will let Apple's device pay for many goods by bringing the iPhone within an inch of a FeliCa source, such as at a store. Mophie promises that it will work in reverse and that shops can use the accessory to take payments, especially at on-the-street shops where a usual counter isn't an option.

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iPhone 3GS bestselling phone in Japan

08/17, 9:50am

iPhone 3GS Tops in Japan

Apple's third iPhone generation has ousted Japan's own phone manufacturers for the top sales spot in the country, according to market data from Gfk Japan. The 32GB iPhone 3GS was the most popular phone in Japan during July and outsold even more advanced touchscreen phones from the local market, such as the runner-up Sharp SH-06. Of the top ten, the 16GB iPhone 3GS was the only other non-Japanese phone to make the list, occupying ninth place ahead of the Sharp SH001 camera phone.

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Sony intros 240Hz Bravia HDTVs with RFID tech

03/02, 4:45pm

Sony HDTVs with RFID tech

Sony has recently announced the upcoming release of two new series of Bravia HDTVs in Japan, the W5 and F5, with the majority sporting 240Hz panels. They center on a FeliCa RFID tag reader built right into their remotes that lets owners pay for Video on Demand and other multimedia purchases using their cellphones. The W5 TVs are available in 52-, 46- and 40-inch models, while the F5s can be had in 46-, 40- and 32-inch sizes. All have full 1920x1080 high-definition resolution, except for the 32-inch KDL-32F5, which tops out at 1366x768 pixels and has a 120Hz panel.

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Japanese iPhone interest spikes 63%

07/14, 10:20am

Japan iPhone Demand Spikes

Japanese interest in the iPhone 3G surged to where more than one in seven Japanese phone customers has been considering an iPhone, according to a survey published today by iSHARE and conducted at the end of June. The researchers note that while a pre-announcement study showed just 8.9 percent of buyers considering an iPhone, that number has since climbed to 14.5 percent, a jump of about 63 percent in just a few weeks. Existing subscribers with official iPhone carrier SoftBank are disproportionately more likely to want the device, with exactly one in five (20 percent) likely to buy while just 10 percent of those with other providers mulling a switch of carriers to get the device.

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Hitachi adds e-ink to W61H clamshell

01/29, 12:25pm

Hitachi W61H w/e-ink

Japanese carriers KDDI and Softbank are adding a unique Hitachi phone to their lineups, according to multiple reports. The W61H uses a regular, 2.7-inch LCD on the inside of its clamshell design, but this is mirrored by a similarly-sized e-ink display on the back, where most phones would place an OLED screen. This screen is not intended to be practical, however, but instead display one of 95 decorative patterns, matched to the available black, silver or cyan colors.

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