On a recently held press event, HTC’s sales manager who wanted to remain unnamed, told us that HTC plans to bring a NFC-capable high-end smartphone to market in the 3rd quarter of 2011. The phone should be positioned slightly above the recently announced HTC Sensation. Allegedly it should also feature a 4.3" touch screen, though we could not get a confirmed feature list nor the actual launch date, only availability.
This confirms earlier reports based on statements made by Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, who outlined that a LTE and NFC capable smartphone should be released in the second half of 2011.
At this point Near Field Communication technology is still at its infancy, with only Google providing the Nexus S smartphone in worldwide markets. Google worked closely with Samsung to manufacture Nexus S phone carrying the technology but in all honesty, world leader in the adoption of NFC is Nokia, which ships NFC-capable phones for quite some time now.
NFC has a typical chicken and egg problem, in that the lack of devices featuring it also makes companies reluctant to offer services based on NFC in majority of the markets. Then again, advanced markets such as Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore as well as developing markets that skipped the credit card era and moved directly to mobile banking. Thus, it is no surprise that a lot of companies see huge potential in this space.