Nokia announced a NFC version of its Lumia 610 smartphone, its entry-level Windows Phone unveiled at the GSMA Mobile World Congress earlier this year. Orange is set to be the first operator to support the device. Nokia said the Lumia 610 NFC has the hardware and software enablers for the implementation of NFC payment and ticketing, and has been certified for both MasterCard’s PayPass and Visa’s payWave implementations. The NFC chipsets for the handset will be supplied by Inside Secure.
Ilari Nurmi, head of product marketing for Nokia's Smart Devices business unit, noted. “We're bringing NFC right across our portfolio, and together with our ever-growing range of NFC accessories we're making it easy for people to connect via a single tap. We're also enabling operators and other service providers to build NFC payment and ticketing solutions on top of our smartphones.”
The company said that this is the 8th NFC-enabled smartphone it has launched in the last two years, although this is the first handset to be based on the Windows Phone OS. Nokia previously embraced the Symbian OS.
The Lumia 610 NFC is expected to be available “early in the third quarter of 2012.” The news that Nokia was working to incorporate NFC into Lumia handsets first leaked several months ago.
The announcement came as it was reported that the launch of its non-NFC flagship Lumia 900 smartphone in the US had seen some teething troubles, with AllThingsD reporting that some customers had been unable to connect to the internet. This was attributed to a fault with the handset’s software, rather than hardware issues or the network of operator partner AT&T. Customers can swap their devices for an updated version, with a US$100 credit also available to customers – the same as the subsidised price of the smartphone.