South Korean operator SK Telecom wants people to use near field enabled mobile services, especially their own, but how are they going to convince folks that they should buy a new phone that has NFC hardware inside? Actually … they don’t. According to NFC World, beginning next month SK Telecom will offer their customers a special SIM card that has also features NFC functionality for between $30 and $40. That’s surprisingly affordable for those folks who want to see what all the hype around NFC is about, but don’t want to ditch the phone they currently have. We have serious doubts that American operators are willing to do the same thing. Chances are they’ll offer you a handset with some additional subsidies, but you’ll be required to extend your contract. Folks will likely sign the dotted line, and then every time they use their mobile phone to make a purchase the operator will get a cut of the transaction.
Speaking about NFC, where the hell are the NFC enabled smartphones? Samsung showed off the Galaxy S II in February and said it would feature NFC, and it does … but only on the South Korean variant. The only NFC enabled smartphone being sold in America right now is the Google Nexus S. We’ll likly see NFC in the Nexus Prime, but what about the next iPhone? Will Apple make us wait until the iPhone 6? If Nokia can manage to announce 3 Symbian smartphones that stretch across a wide set of price points, yet still have each feature NFC, then why hasn’t anyone else done the same thing?
Mobile World Congress, the mother of all mobile industry trade shows, kicks off in 5 months. If we don’t see NFC device there, then there’s a likely chance we’re not going to see any until the second half of 2012. That would break out hearts.