Samsung Galaxy S II with NFC to begin shipping “later this year”

Samsung has begun shipping the first units of its Galaxy S II smartphone but, outside Korea, it looks as though only the non-NFC version will be available — for now.

Samsung Galaxy S II NFC
GALAXY S II: Units with NFC coming later this year

Samsung has begun shipping its much anticipated Galaxy S II smartphone but units sold outside Korea look set to be available only in a non-NFC version until later in 2011.

The new device, the successor to the phone maker’s best selling Galaxy smartphone, was announced at the Mobile World Congress in February. Samsung at the time said that the phone would come in two versions, one with NFC and one without. Korean mobile network operators began receiving their first NFC units last month but it now seems clear that the rest of the world will have to wait.

Samsung Mobile UK has confirmed to NFC World that “an NFC version of the Galaxy S II will be launched later this year,” adding that recent reports of a June launch are not correct. The timing of the UK introduction will be made in order “to support the roll out of our network partners’ NFC services,” the company added. Both O2 UK and Orange/Barclaycard are due to launch commercial NFC services during the course of 2011.

The UK office’s statement echos information provided to PC World last week by Michael Alström, Samsung’s senior product manager with responsibility for NFC and 4G in the Nordic countries. “Samsung wanted to start shipping the Galaxy S II as soon possible and chose to prioritize the model without NFC,” PC World reports. “All of its efforts are now directed at getting that version out the door, according to Alström. The version with NFC will arrive in the coming months.”

Samsung has received pre-orders for more than three million units of the Galaxy S II, although no information on what percentage of those are for the NFC version has been revealed to date.