Back in an interview a few months ago, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said they “would be fools not to” include near-field communications in their next batch of handsets. In addition to reiterating their stance at the Mobile World Congress 2011 keynote with him saying “many, if not most” future BlackBerry smartphones would have NFC, RIM has posted a video of VP Andrew Bocking talking about the technology and how it’ll fit into handsets.
Now, we’ve already seen most of RIM’s 2011 lineup, and indeed the vast majority will reportedly include the technology, enabling folks to tap their phone on sensors to pay for stuff at retail stores, get through security checkpoints, and enjoy plenty of other new, unforeseen applications. Of course, RIM’s not alone in pushing the new use case for cell phones; the Samsung Nexus S launched awhile back as the first smartphone with an NFC chip included.
With RIM talking big about NFC, and Samsung already having a head start, I’m sure it won’t take long for the other manufacturers to take a hint and start launching devices that can compete. There are some interesting workarounds, such as microSD memory cards with NFC built in, but that really can’t compete with deep native integration with the OS. Rumour has the RIM’s first NFC BlackBerry will launch by the end of Q2 (March),but as much as they might say they are, RIM doesn’t sound especially excited in the video below.