We must confess, of all the things we’ve thought of doing with our Nokia C7 review unit, taking a screwdriver to it and searching for a NFC (“near-field communications”) chip didn’t occur to us. Our loss, apparently, since Nokia has indeed fitted a short-range wireless chip inside the new Symbian^3 smartphone; they’re just not telling us exactly why, yet.
“The reason is that the NFC software is not ready yet on the devices,” a Nokia spokesperson confirmed, “We didn’t want to postpone the whole device announcement because of the software upgrade.” The exact functionality that software update will bring is unclear; the C7 is not believed to have the secure chip necessary for wireless payments, which could limit the handset to transferring non-secure data such as links and social networking information.
Alternatively, however, other sources have suggested that Nokia are aiming to take advantage of the single-wire protocol standard, which would see the secure chip shifted from the handset itself to the SIM card. With Nokia all but silent on the issue, however, we’ll have to wait for the incoming announcement to find out what’s exactly going on with the C7’s mysterious extra radio.