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BlackBerry-maker RIM Bets Big on NFC

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BlackBerry Playbook tablet hands-onLONDON, UK – All future BlackBerry devices will include support for NFC, according to its UK chief, in an attempt to take a sizeable bite out of the wireless payment and ticketing ecosystems.

“The opportunities are endless…We don’t know how it’s going to pan out, but we’re in the process of building an an ecosystem” RIM UK MD Stephen Bates told journalists, confirming that near-field communications support would be in “all of our new devices moving forward.”

RIM is getting behind NFC in a big way, the report says. Bates talked about how users will soon be using NFC for payment in Starbucks and expects it to replace Oyster cards – an electronic payment system used in London – for an easy way of paying for trains, buses and just about everything else.

According to eWeek, market research firm iSuppli predicted NFC adoption would expand throughout 2011. Its report suggests 13% of the 220.1 million handsets expected to be sold in 2014 will come with mobile payment capability.

Among the potential uses Bates mentioned were Starbucks payments, travel using contactless tickets integrated into our phones, and gaining access to events without traditional passes. However, the MD didn’t confirm which BlackBerry device would be the first to launch with NFC support, nor whether RIM was looking to build its own ecosystem of services or piggy-back onto existing channels.

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By , International Correspondent on Mar 7th, 2011 GMT +2


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