HELSINKI, April 11 Nokia unveiled on
Wednesday its Lumia 610 NFC model, first to take the emerging
near-field communication technology that drives instant payment
systems to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, and
promised more models in the future.
"We're bringing NFC right across our portfolio," Ilari
Nurmi, marketing chief at Nokia smartphone unit, said in a
Sales of NFC-enabled cellphones are expected to more than
triple to 100 million handsets this year as manufacturers and
operators roll out new models, hoping to tap emerging market for
mobile payments, research firm Berg Insight said last month.
NFC enables data to be exchanged wirelessly over distances
of a few centimetres, meaning mobile phones can be used to pay
for goods, store electronic tickets, download music and swap
photos and business cards.
Nokia said Orange will be the first operator to sell the
Lumia 610 NFC - which has been certified for contactless
payments both with MasterCard and Visa technologies - starting
early in the third quarter.
"Nokia has been one of the front runners in pushing NFC
technology on handsets for non-payment usage, but inclusion of
Mastercard and Visa technologies suggest Orange will be looking
to use the device also for its mobile payment service," said
Digantam Gurung, analyst at CCS Insight.
Earlier on Wednesday Nokia said it had found a software bug
in its Lumia 900 smartphone, blunting its bid to turn around its
fortunes in the United States.