Google anticipating NFC to take off this year?
For those not familiar with NFC it basically stands for Near Field Communication and what this means in the mobile community is the ability to use your phone as a form of payment device, such as the ability to pay for drinks at Starbucks or buy your groceries just by waving your phone over a device. One could also exchange information with each other through the use of NFC as well and even the ability to unlock doors!
NXP Semiconductors is a company whom many of you may not have heard of but who are responsible for working with Google to ensure that Android 2.3 came with support for NFC technology. Their CEO Rick Clemmer (pictured above) was quoted as saying “Every time we talk to our friends at Google, they tell us to double the numbers for the Android expectations. If the low end happens, maybe it doesn’t get to be greater than 40 or 45 million units this year. If, in fact, Google’s right and we should double everything, then the numbers are closer to a hundred. We’ll clearly have a better feel as we get towards the middle of the year.”
Does this mean we will get to see an onslaught of NFC enabled phones some time later this year?
Stefan at IntoMobile doesn’t seem to think so with only two NFC devices out in the market today – the Blackberry 9900 and the Nexus S. As Android hardware vendors are highly reliant on Qualcomm for chips, he says that unless Qualcomm starts bundling NFC with Snapdragon, seeing NFC on Android devices is most likely not going to take off any time soon.
Fairphone 2 Begins To Ship
The Fairphone 2 was first unveiled in June earlier this year, where this particular handset carried a modular design while featuring majority of its components that have been sourced from conflict-free mines. It seems that this particular handset that you can purchase with a clear conscience has begun to ship to those who happen to live across Europe.
Fairphone announced in a blog post, “It’s been almost two years in the making, and some of the earliest buyers have been patiently waiting since July to receive their new phones. As community manager, I want to personally welcome the new batch of Fairphone owners to our community.” The initial 1,000 units are tipped to ship this month, before the other pre-orders follow in January 2016.
In terms of hardware specifications, the Fairphone 2 will run on a Snapdragon 801 chipset, has a 5″ 1080p screen with Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP camera, with Android 5.1 Lollipop in tow. It will be a dual SIM capable handset with a microSD memory card slot and plays nice with 4G LTE networks, retailing for approximately €525 a pop.
Xiaomi Mi 5 Carries NFC Feature
It looks like the upcoming flagship model from Xiaomi will feature NFC support, at least based on a document that was released by China UnionPay. Just in case you are scratching your head and wondering who China UnionPay is, they happen to be the only domestic payment gateway supplier and card organization, and hence, to see them offer detailed support concerning the newly released NFC-based payment system points to the very real possibility of the upcoming Xiaomi Mi 5 featuring NFC capability.
After all, the Xiaomi Mi 3 was also mentioned on the list, which so happens to feature NFC, and there is no mention of the Xiaomi Mi 4 which does not come with NFC. Still, such a new payment system would be the ideal tool to see the reintroduction of NFC to the flagship model.
OnePlus X Ceramic Limited Edition Available From Today
OnePlus did make an announcement in the previous month that the Ceramic variant of the OnePlus X will be released on November 24. True to their word, they did exactly that – although only a pitiful number of units were made available, and not only that, this was through a charity auction. Thankfully for the rest of the masses who are on the lookout for this device, it has gone on sale officially already.
Needless to say, this particular variant is available only by an invitation, although do bear in mind that standard OnePlus X invites are not good here – you will still need to snag yourself a specific Ceramic variant invite before you make a purchase. OnePlus is also on the lookout to offer additional methods of picking up this smartphone, although no further details were revealed.
The OnePlus X Ceramic will be available only in select markets, where among them include Europe, India, and Hong Kong. To date, we do know that OnePlus had made only 10,000 units of the handset available. A case of the early bird getting the proverbial worm here?