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‘We didn’t mean all smartphones would get NFC’, says Nokia

The Finnish mobile phone giant has backtracked on its headline-grabbing announcement and now says that only some smartphones will have NFC next year and they may not be available in all markets.

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RETREAT: NFC will appear in some phones, in some markets, some time next year.

Just a few days after top Nokia executive Anssi Vanjoki told the Mobey Forum that all new smartphones would include NFC from 2011, the Finnish phone giant has backed away from its commitment.

Doubts regarding the likelihood that Nokia would add near field communication capability to all its new smartphones from 2011 were first raised by Rafe Blandford, editor of All About Symbian. Blandford explained that:

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.

Blandford’s points seemed to make sense so NFC World asked Nokia to clarify the situation by providing an official statement regarding its NFC plans. Here is what we received:

“NFC is a technology we actively support. Starting in 2011, our global Symbian smartphone portfolio will begin to include NFC. This may or may not include country variants.”

So NFC is not going to be available in all smartphones after all — and the NFC handsets that do get produced next year may not be available in all markets and they may not hit the shops until the end of 2011, rather than the beginning. Which, of course, is a rather different message to the one given to the Mobey Forum last week…

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