Nokia's newly released C7 smartphone contains an undocumented NFC chip that may be activated at a later stage with a firmware update.
This hidden feature was not announced when the handset was officially launched back in September at the Nokia World event and it is not known why the C7 and not more upmarket handsets like the N8 do not feature the technology.
One reason why the C7 might have been chosen is because it is squarely aimed at the social networking crowd and may therefore be tied to location based services and applications available from Nokia's OVI store.
NFCtimes (opens in new tab) (via Theregister (opens in new tab)) reports that the feature itself is not totally ready and will need a software upgrade to work properly, in addition, the built in NFC system will not support card emulation.
This means that users won't be able to use it for credit or debit payment or as a secure ticketing service (think Oystercard) unless there's an additional module being plugged in. NFCTimes suggests that it might be a secure chip in a microSD card although this will prevent users from adding more memory to their phones.
Meanwhile, Samsung (opens in new tab) announced the launched of its first NFC-equipped phone the SHW-A170K, one that comes with entry-level specifications.