Samsung Galaxy S III named official Olympics 2012 phone

Samsung's Galaxy S III has been named the official phone of the Olympics 2012, with a special edition of the quadcore behemoth planned packing integrated Visa payWave wireless payments. However, the NFC-toting limited edition Galaxy S III won't be offered to the public, but only provided to Visa-sponsored athletes and trialists, who will be able to charge items and services to their phone with a simple swipe.

"The Samsung Galaxy S III has been created with our human needs and capabilities in mind" DJ Lee, head of Sales and Marketing at Samsung Mobile Communications said of the partnership, "and is the ideal device to showcase the ease and convenience of Visa's mobile payment application at the London 2012 Olympic Games." The regular Galaxy S III, announced last week, also has NFC, though no specific payment deals have been announced.

Visa's payWave system requires loading a Visa app on the phone and then holding the handset near an NFC-enabled terminal. Transactions over £20 ($32) require a passcode be entered on the phone, and the app shows a history of transactions and the overall account balance.

Work on the Visa NFC payment phone project with Samsung began more than a year ago, with the companies promising an Olympics 2012 tie-in back in April 2011. At the time, it was suggested that the handset would also be put on general sale.