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Orange and Samsung announce their first NFC SIM phone

No, alas it’s not the Samsung Galaxy S II, but another addition to Samsung’s Wave family, the Wave 578.

It will be one of Orange’s first SIM-secure NFC phones. Near Field Communication (NFC) allows you to ‘touch-in’ your phone at compatible terminals to pay for items in a shop, buy tickets, or act as a door key. It’s similar to the technology currently used in London’s Oyster cards. Orange announced only last month that it was to bring SIM-centric NFC payments to the UK.

Anne Bouverot, executive vice-president of Orange’s mobile services said, “We are spearheading the third biggest revolution in the mobile arena, after mobile voice services and the explosion in mobile data.

“Mobile contactless services will change people’s daily lives. We’re very pleased that partners like Samsung arehelping us to accelerate these plans.”

The Samsung Wave 578 will first be on sale in Spain, France and Poland. (What, no UK?)

We expect it to be released on a midprice contract, and although it’ll be running Samsung’s homemade, less than ideal OS, Bada, the Wave 578 will have a 3.2-inch WQVGA screen, with a 3.2-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 3.0. You’ll also be able to take tons of cool self-portraits and video-call through the front-facing VGA camera.

Though there’s no UK release date, nor exact pricing for the Wave 578, but Orange are promising that there will be several more NFC-capable phones coming soon from the likes of Nokia and LG, and it expects that by the end of 2011, over half of their new smartphones will be ‘optimised’ for NFC payment features.


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