Someone in Nokia’s marketing department is about to get into a lot of trouble. The company’s YouTube channel accidentally posted a video demoing a new product, the Lumia 610 NFC. Said video was pulled down immediately, but that didn’t stop the guys at Nokia Buff from downloading it to their local machine and then reuploading it for all to watch. What you see below is basically the exact same Lumia 610 that was announced back in February at Mobile World Congress, but with an NFC chip inside. We don’t know which countries this thing will be available in, nor how much it’ll cost, and more importantly we don’t know whether Nokia wrote their own NFC stack and integrated it into Windows Phone, or whether Microsoft has a version of Tango that officially supports near field technology.
Should you care about NFC? Yes and no. If you’re the kind of person who buys a new phone every two to three years, then you’ll want to make sure you’re future proofed. NFC payments will be a big thing in 2013, assuming operators get their shit together. If on the other hand you’re someone who goes through at least one or two handsets a year, then NFC doesn’t matter. There is so much fragmentation in the space that it’s down right depressing. The one thing we all want NFC to do, transfer contact information, is hilariously broken between not only different smartphone platforms, but also devices that run the same operating system.
We really don’t want to say this, but we will: The mobile industry isn’t going to take NFC seriously until Apple puts NFC inside the Jesus Phone. Until then, it’s a gimmicky feature and a check box that spec whores need to mark on their list of “requirements” for their next device. In the real world, NFC is damn near close to useless.
Update: Nokia just made this thing official. No price, but we have a launch date: Q3 2012.
Update: Regarding the NFC stack, it’s Nokia’s own according to Ian Delaney: “It’s Mango with a new software stack from Nokia to handle NFC.” Does that mean the Lumia 610 NFC will have issues talking to future Windows Phones using Microsoft’s own NFC stack? Maybe.