Hewlett-Packard will add Near Field Communications technology to its webOS smartphones and tablets, according to a Bloomberg report. The news, if true, would make HP the latest mobile device company to support the technology for mobile payments.
The report, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said HP is developing the devices now and that they may be commercially available by year-end. An HP spokeswoman declined to comment.
If HP does decide to push NFC into its webOS devices, it will be playing a little bit of catch-up with other industry players looking to take advantage of the burgeoning interest in mobile payments. Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) added NFC to its latest BlackBerry Bold, which T-Mobile USA plans to launch later this year. RIM has said it will put NFC into more BlackBerry devices as well.
Additionally, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) launched its own NFC-based contactless payment platform late last month in conjunction with Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and financial services providers MasterCard, Citi and First Data to enable subscribers to purchase goods and redeem coupons and loyalty rewards via Android smartphones.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not indicated if, or when, it will add NFC to the iPhone; there was no mention of the technology last week at the company's Worldwide Developer Conference. However, Apple also did not unveil any new iPhone hardware at the event.
- see this Bloomberg article
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