Analysis

Samsung gets into the NFC chip business; mobile payments coming to Samsung handsets?

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Whenever Samsung needs something, they tend to build it themselves. Displays? Done. Memory? They’ve got it. CPUs? See the Hummingbird.

So when they go and announce that they’re now building their own Near Field Communication (NFC) chips (the chips used for paying at retail shops with a wave of your cell phone) complete with embedded flash memory, we can only assume one thing: Samsung’s gonna start planting these things in their own lineup. Given that Samsung builds a friggin’ platoon of new Android models every few months, and that Eric Schmidt has already revealed that the (Samsung-made) Nexus S has NFC-functionality, I can’t help but wonder: is NFC-based payment about to become a commonplace feature on Android?

Contact-based mobile payments are one of those things that everyone seems to want, but that no one (at least in the US) wants to take the first step to make happen. If any tag-team in the world can use their weight to get the ball rolling, though, it’s Samsung and Google.

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