Last week brought word of an imminent update for the Kyocera Echo on Sprint, moving the phone up to Gingerbread. Today, the carrier as well as the manufacturer have confirmed the update, beginning to go out OTA now. Through the leaked info from last week, we knew about a few of the features this release would bring, like a newer edition of Swype, but today’s announcements have included some curious mentions of new-found NFC abilities.
On Kyocera’s site, news of the update initially included two features that have since been taken down: calling over WiFi, and NFC reader support. If that was the beginning and end of this, we wouldn’t have much to tell you, but it’s Kyocera’s supposed response that has us wondering. A Kyocera spokesperson, explaining how those features were posted inadvertently, described them as “experimental”.
Experimenting with support for WiFi calling that we’ll buy. But we haven’t seen any sign of NFC hardware on the Echo; more than just a chip, you need a proper antenna for NFC, and as far as we know, it’s not there. What kind of experiment is Kyocera talking about, then? A hardware refresh seems unlikely, given the lack of strong market reaction to the Echo. Could Kyocera be experimenting in-house with NFC plans for future handsets? Did the rep just misspeak?