updated 03:05 pm EDT, Tue May 24, 2011
Google NFC service unveiling with Sprint soon
(Update: first stores) Google's rumored NFC-based payment system will be unveiled Thursday, three insiders leaked on Tuesday. The system would let those with a Nexus S 4G on Sprint use their devices to both buy goods and use coupons by waving the phone at a VeriFone-supplied terminal. Google hasn't the confirmed details provided by Bloomberg but is holding an event in New York City on Thursday that will likely discuss the NFC plans.
None of the involved companies agreed to comment.
The implementation could be one of the first practical implementations of NFC in the US. Development has accelerated in recent months, but Isis, a collaboration on NFC payments between multiple US carriers and institutions like Discover, has been scaled back. Google's strategy could nonetheless prove difficult as it would count on one, brand new device on the third-largest carrier and might be limited to just a trial.
Other phone makers are known to be working on NFC. RIM already has it in the BlackBerry Bold 9900, and Samsung will have a version of the Galaxy S II with NFC onboard. Conflicting reports have emerged over whether or not the next iPhone will have NFC, though a Qualcomm chip may enable it. Bloomberg's references to an Envisioneering analyst leaking the details have been proven false since the analyst himself had said it was just speculation.
Update: A second scoop has colored in extra details. American Eagle Outfitters, Macy's, and Subway are all believed to be a part of the first wave of stores using the NFC systems.