NFC from Samsung and Quad-Core from NIVIDA Coming to Android in 2011

The Android LogoNear field communications (NFC) is expected to come of age in the United States next year after Google implements support for the wireless, mobile payment system in Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’. The Samsung Nexus S is widely expected to receive an NFC chipset inside and now Samsung has officially announced its line of NFC chips for sale to manufacturers. At the same time, NIVIDA is hard at work on a quad-core processor for smartphones. While Android keeps chugging ahead with faster and better devices released on a nearly daily basis now, almost 17% of all Android OS users are still running version 1.x of the highly popular mobile operating system.

Samsung’s NFC Chipsets

Chips from Samsung that enable NFC payment options in smartphones

The Nexus S—which Google and Samsung are expected to officially announce along with Android Gingerbread—is widely expected to feature an NFC chipset inside to allow compatibility with the Isis NFC payment network once it goes online. If you need any further proof, check out Samsung’s new line of NFC chips. They feature upgradeable, flash embedded RAM to support future updates to NFC payment technology.

NIVIDA’s Coming Tegra Processors

Picture of NIVIDA's coming dual-core, Tegra 2 processor chipset

1080p HD video output comes standard on the Tegra 2.

NIVIDA already has its dual-core Tegra 2 processor on the way for smartphones next years and the company has already declared that, “Dual-core processors will be the standard in 2011.” Excited? NIVIDA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang also went on to say, “quad-core is coming in the near future.” Now that’s what I am talking about. The Tegra 2 will show up in at least a half-dozen smartphones in early 2011 and NIVIDA is finishing work on its Tegra 3 chipset. The Tegra 4 isn’t far behind.

More Than Half of Android OS Users Are on 2.1 ‘Éclair’ or Less

A chart showing a breakdown of Android OS versions in use

And I thought Samsung Galaxy S owners had to wait forever for 'Froyo'.

With Android marching ahead and probably passing Apple’s iPhone in every survey by the end of 2011 even if a Verizon iPhone comes you might be surprised to know that more than half of all Android users are stuck with version 2.1 or lower. Android 2.3 is expected to be released any day now and Android 3.0 ‘Honeycomb’ has a released date planned in early 2011. Why are more than half of all Android smartphones stuck with an operating system that can’t play Adobe Flash formatted videos? That’s the curse of an open, free smartphone operating system. Carriers and manufacturers are the ones that determine when operating system updates come out and not Google.

Should Google be heading towards quad-core smartphone processors and mobile payment through NFC while so many of its phones are practically crippled by very outdated software? Let me know what you think and if a Tegra 2 powered smartphone is on your wish list for 2011.

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