Will HP Release an NFC-Equipped webOS Smartphone This Year?

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Is 2011 going to be the year when NFC finally makes its mark as a viable smartphone technology? The hardware, though limited in its availability, is out there. Software like Angry Birds Magic and Google Wallet will finally give you something useful to do with that hardware, above and beyond just scanning static tags. Clearly, Android is on-board for NFC support, as is Symbian, and we’ve heard rumors about WP7 and iOS planning to join the party. The latest to catch the NFC fever may be Hewlett-Packard, with rumors that the company will be bringing the tech to webOS smartphones.

Bloomberg reports that a pair of sources have told it that HP is working on adding NFC capabilities to its upcoming webOS hardware. It’s possible that the first of these devices could show up by the end of the year, but don’t look for it in any currently-announced hardware like the Pre 3, set to arrive at the end of the month.

According to these sources, HP’s plans for NFC mirror what we’re seeing from the likes of Google, with aims to set up a payment infrastructure, integrated with loyalty cards and other coupons to offer shoppers discounts while encouraging use of the service. The company reportedly has plans to see these NFC-equipped devices used for business, tracking inventory and scanning tagged documents, but there’s no specific details on anything like that yet available. If these rumors pan out, we should hear more about HP’s NFC dreams as we approach the year’s end.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Via: ZDNet

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!