Galaxy S II to the UK next month, having initially launched the Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone in its non-NFC form. The decision was apparently confirmed by two Samsung support staff, who told one would-be GSII customer that "the NFC [model] would be launched in the UK by June." However, they also confirmed that Samsung has no plans to launch the 32GB version of the GSII in the UK, despite the higher-capacity model being available in other regions. Instead, the UK will be stuck with the 16GB model only, though of course that can be expanded using up to 32GB microSD cards. It's unclear if the NFC decision means that there will be two versions of the Galaxy S II co-existing in the UK market - some NFC-enabled, others not - or if the updated model will replace the original. That could frustrate early-adopters, however, who will see those coming later to the GSII game picking up a handset eventually capable of wireless payments and other talents. [via Mobot]
Galaxy S II today, though UK sales of the dual-core Android smartphone did kick off in the UK yesterday. The subject of a huge Media Day in Korea this morning, Samsung expects to ship the Galaxy S II on over 140 carriers in 120 countries worldwide. As we found in our full Samsung Galaxy S II review, the 1.2GHz Exynos processor and Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen make for a potent combination. Surprisingly, though, the Galaxy S II particularly delivers on battery life, lasting for two days of heavy use. Meanwhile, in Korea there's a version of the Galaxy S II with an integrated DMB digital TV tuner - which adds 1mm to the smartphone's thickness - and there'll be various NFC and non-NFC versions depending on region. Samsung even went to the trouble of calculating the average length of the Korean thumb (58.6mm, if you're curious) and reckon the 4.3-inch display is perfectly suited to one-handed use.
Google partners with Mastercard and Citigroup for NFC payments.
NFC technology baked into the Nexus S. According to the WSJ's sources, Google will release an app later in the year which allows Citigroup customers to swipe their phones on VeriFone-made NFC enabled payment terminals. The same app may allow for payment history tracking along with coupons and other personalized offers to be pushed. On the flip side, Google - and its retailer partners - would be able to gather greater information on shopping habits, and thus better tailor its advertising. Google would apparently not take a cut of the transaction fees, instead only getting a foot in the door on better quality analytics. The search giant was previously tipped to be readying NFC payment trials in San Francisco and NYC.