If you were hoping to future proof your phone purchase by grabbing an NFC-enables Samsung Galaxy S II, you're officially out of luck. Samsung has just confirmed that the version of the phone launching in Australia is the non-NFC handset, making the dream of mobile phone payments at Woolworths a slightly more distant utopia.
Samsung sent us this statement this morning:
Samsung can confirm that the GALAXY S II will not ship with a NFC chip in Australia. The company is closely monitoring local application and demand for NFC technology and is ready to release NFC-enabled handsets into the Australian market at the appropriate time. Globally, Samsung has announced it is working closely with Olympic Games partner, Visa, to deliver NFC mobile phone payments for the London 2012 Olympics.
In reality, we're quickly approaching the point where NFC is getting set to take off in the country. There are just a couple of pieces left to slot into place, like handsets and mobile payment apps, and once they happen, we should be living in a mobile payment brave new world. While this announcement is disappointing for people hoping to ditch their wallets, it's not really too big a hurdle for the technologies rollout.