I know this is a classical bootstrap problem: why offer services if consumers don't own NFC handsets, why produce NFC handsets if nobody offers services?
And then there are problems with the business model, there are cultural differences between banks and mobile operators, etc. There was a problem of the location of the secure element (SE): either embedded in the device (owned by the manufacturer), or on the SIM (owned by the operator). I think the mobile operators won.
Oh, and there have been countless trials and pilots.
So where are the new handsets? Below is my list of annotated bookmarks.
- Nokia has an NFC shell (2005) that can be strapped onto the Nokia 3220.
- Samsung has its SGH-X700N (2006).
- Nokia's clamshell model, the Nokia 6131-NFC (2007), and bar model, Nokia 6212 classic (2008) are pretty popular. These S40 devices have a dedicated SE embedded into the handset.
- There's a nice list of handsets over at NFC Research in Hagenberg, including models by Sagem, LG, and Motorola (2008?).
- LG seems to have had an LG KU380-NFC handset with NFC support based on an STMicroeletronics chip.
- Nokia announced the Nokia 6216 classic (2009) which was supposed to support an SE on the SIM (via SWP). But this model has been killed now.
- Mobile-ecosystem found that Samsung and LG have new NFC enabled smart phones (2010).
- Samsung developed an NFC version of its S5230 smart phone for use in trials.
- And let's hope the rumors about Apple's iPhone4G are true.
But maybe a different strategy is needed while we wait for the handset revolution: strap something onto an ordinary smart phone to NFC-enable it.
- A sticker with a dumb RFID tag. Only tag emulation, so no smart poster support. But it should be enough for the most popular use case (proximity payment without asking for user consent).
- A sticker with a smart tag which communicates with the handset over Bluetooth.
- A MicroSD card such as the one by Giesecke & Devrient and the one by First Data and Tyfone.