In a smartphone arms race between the Galaxy S III and the iPhone 5, Samsung is claiming superiority with its flagship handset use of Near Field Communications — a feature Apple’s smartphone lacks.
Experts doubt if this feature will push the Galaxy to the top of the market as the average consumer is unlikely to even know what NFC means in this context, if they will benefit by having it, or somehow miss the new hottest technological wave due to its absence.
Near Field Communication is a short-range wireless technology that can be applied in a multitude of ways. One example, users with NFC phones can tap similarly equipped devices to exchange contact information, music or other files. It could even enable consumers to buy products in stores without having to check out at a register.
The technology has been under the radar for nearly a decade, but more high-profile companies are beginning to lend their support.
Google is embracing the technology with its new Google Wallet mobile payment initiative, and so far has been hard pressed to drum up enthusiasm for the online payment service.
Experts say online payment space is a complex and fragmented technology so far, as getting consumers to change behavior and pay with phones rather than plastic credit cards they have used for years is a daunting task. However, more high-visibility devices are embedding NFC chips such as: Android phones and tablets, as well as devices made by HTC, LG, Motorola, BlackBerrys and Windows phones.
Where you users won’t see NFC is on the iPhone 5, and judging by the phones specular sales – most consumers could care less. Should they?
When it comes to mobile payments, NFC poses a gigantic infrastructure problem. Only a few locations can handle the technology so far, and its popularity depends on the merchants devoting time and money to change that.
There are some very clever options that come with NFC. On feature on the Android allows is to share pictures and YouTube videos by touching two NFC-capable phones back-to-back. What is shown on one screen will be transferred to the other.
Similar services are being offered by other third party developers, all involving the sharing of information. So far Apple has given the technology the cold shoulder, but we at Vroooom Web expect this to change in the future.
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