A week ago, we were at a Samsung Mobile Developers Conference, where a bunch of questions were asked (Including some hilariously stupid ones such as this one: “do your batteries use nanotechnology?”.. Seriously!). regarding developing apps to utilize NFC chips. For those of you who don’t know, NFC, or Near Field Communication is a hardware/communication protocol that allows for transfer of data over short distances. Read more about it here.
Anyways, one interesting question asked was, how would the service or content provider make sure that the users secure data remains secure on the device, especially when it can be rooted, which would give one access to the system files. The answer was that the NFC chips used had their own secure data element, which would not be accessible even if the phone is rooted.
Which brings us to this post from Read Write Web. It seems the new Nokia phones that have NFC chips, such as the N9 and C7, will not support NFC mobile payment applications. It seems the NFC chips used in those devices do not have that secure storage element, which rules out the ability to use it for mobile payments. It doesn’t mean NFC is useless on those devices though, there are a wide range of applications that NFC is still used for.
It’s surprising that Nokia omitted this though, as the Nokia 6131 was the first NFC enabled handset, and Nokia was one of the pioneers in the NFC area, where they partnered with Sony and Phillips to set up the NFC Forum back in 2004. Mobile wallets seem to be the next big thing in the mobile techology evolution (well, usage evolution would probably be more accurate), and I don’t see why Nokia isn’t stepping up their game. Are they too busy trying to decide if they’re going to jump off the burning platform?