Sony Ericsson’s (SE) forthcoming Android powered Arc smartphone won’t feature Near Field Communications (NFC) support, the phone maker has disclosed, despite widespread forecasts that 2011 will be the year that the contactless payment method will take off.
One of the much-touted new features of Android 2.3, which the Arc will be running out the box, is that it features NFC, enabling owners to use handsets to pay for low-ticket goods in much the manner as Oyster cards on London transport.
Steve Walker, acting head of global marketing at SE, has told PocketLint.com that support for the tech won’t be included in the Arc on the grounds that that so few retailers have readers up and running outside Japan.
He said: "This device doesn’t support NFC. Of course it’s in the platform, but we haven’t implemented the hardware in this particular product.
“For every individual device we are making the trade-off between cost, in terms of performance, in terms of all the things that we pack in.”
Walker added: “Of course we have NFC capable devices in Japan where the infrastructure has existed for a long time, but NFC doesn’t make sense if it’s only in handsets.
“It only makes sense if there is infrastructure and solutions for the use of NFC, whether it's train ticketing, or payment systems. In most EU markets there isn’t that infrastructure.”
Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show this month, the Xperia Arc packs an eight megapixel camera, a Qualcomm 1Ghz processor and 4.2-inch Reality Display screen.