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Google: “Dozens of NFC phones in the pipeline for 2011″

Google’s Nick Pelly told delegates at Google I/O today that “dozens of NFC phones are in the pipeline” for later this year.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich

ICE CREAM SANDWICH: A new version of Android expected at the end of 2011

Answering a question at the end of the ‘How to NFC‘ session about what devices we may expect to see soon, Pelly — the technical lead for NFC in Android — first encouraged developers to “write some really good applications that make the OEMs see the use cases for NFC”.

At that point, perhaps sensing that he had unwittingly indicated device manufacturers aren’t necessarily committed to the technology, he added “We do know personally of dozens of phones in the pipeline for 2011 that are going to have NFC. So don’t worry, they will come.”

Later, asked if Google would be partnering with somebody to drive real-world NFC use, for example in mobile payments, Pelly responded: “For mobile payments, nothing to announce.”

“We’re looking at peer-to-peer and we’re looking at bringing zero-click sharing to Ice Cream Sandwich,” he continued, referring to the next major version of Android which was announced earlier today. “These are what we see as the use cases today”.

Another delegate wanted to know if the lack of card emulation support in Gingerbread means that Android phones can’t do mobile payments. “You can’t do mobile payments with the APIs available in Gingerbread,” Pelly confirmed.

“Are you planning to add that in for Ice Cream Sandwich?” pressed the delegate.

“It’s something that we’re not going to rule out,” responded Pelly.

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