Nexus S

Google announced the first mainstream Android based NFC handset, Nexus S. Unlike the first Nexus, it is not an HTC device but basically a derivative product of the Samsung Galaxy S family. Even though it has its shortages, this is a huge step for the NFC era.

According to the official information, Nexus S has NXP’s PN544 NFC Controller which is compliant with SWP. That means the handset is compliant with the latest trend in the NFC world which is handing over the power to MNO and/or banks on the secure element. However, sadly, current software stack does not support access to the secure element -the SIM. This means you that can only read/write NFC tags. NFC feature can be enabled/disabled through Android settings, just like the bluetooth radio.

It will not be usable for the big ongoing pilot projects that mainly utilizes the NFC chips as a payment/ticketing media. (Unless new features will be available later on) It can only be used for reading NFC tags which will basically forward the browser to a certain URL or for reading data from a poster, etc. Or for checking in to places or venues via the handset. There is also a big opportunity to use the handset as a coupon media which is a popular business in the US -but not in Europe.

These features make me think that this is an initial device for testing the technology for non-financial projects. The popularity of the applications/projects will lead to more devices with more functionality. It is a big step for the NFC world because now an open mobile platform officially has the support for the NFC functionality and the first handset is already commercially available.

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