Google working on phone with built-in payment tool

Nov 16, 2010 By MICHAEL LIEDTKE , AP Technology Writer
Google CEO Eric Schmidt speaks at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Google Inc. is taking another stab at designing a game-changing mobile phone, this time by including a built-in payment system that could eventually enable the devices to replace credit cards.

The new phone got a brief preview Monday when CEO took the stage to kick off the Web 2.0 summit, a technology conference held annually in San Francisco.

Schmidt confirmed that Google has been working on a sophisticated new computer chip and an upgrade of its mobile operating system that will include a payment processing tool. He showed off the new phone with the device's name and manufacturer concealed.

Several technology websites have speculated the new phone will be called "Nexus S" and will be manufactured by Co.

Google unveiled a phone called the Nexus One with much fanfare at the beginning of this year, but stopped selling it several months ago after other similar devices powered by Android hit the market. Samsung already makes several phones that run on Android software and just introduced a new computer tablet called Galaxy that's powered by Google's 3-year-old mobile operating system.

Schmidt declined to address the reports about the Nexus S. He indicated the new phone, equipped with the upgraded version of Android software called "Gingerbread," will hit the market within the next few weeks.

The new phone will feature a Near Field Communication, or NFC, chip that will enable phones to transmit the payment information of the device's owner to vendors using compatible technology. The transactions will be completed by tapping a physical point, such as a payment terminal or other objects encoded with the information needed to complete the purchase.

Schmidt said the chip will be more secure than the magnetic stripes that carry personal information on credit cards, an advantage that has been greeted enthusiastically by payment processors.

Google intends to forge partnerships with payment processors rather than try to expand into that line of commerce, Schmidt said. Although he expects mobile phones to supplant credit cards, Schmidt said the transition is still a long ways off.

"I still expect to be using for many, many years," he told reporters after his presentation. As and mobile software continues to improve, Schmidt envisions the day when phones will be able to alert their owners when they are passing by a merchant with a product or service on their shopping list.

Mobile phones powered by Android have become ubiquitous since Google released the free mobile software two years ago. HTC Corp., which made the , and Motorola Inc. are among the other major manufacturers that have developed Android handsets. The widespread usage helped Android surge to a 25.5 percent share of the market for mobile phone software, up from 3.5 percent a year ago, according to the research firm Gartner Inc. That ranked Android's software second only to the Symbian operating system, a staple on Nokia Corp. phones, which holds a nearly 37 percent share, by Gartner's reckoning.

Explore further: Tomorrow's tablets? Look, no hands

4.7 /5 (6 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google abandoning Nexus One online store

May 14, 2010

Google said Friday it was closing down the online store for its Nexus One smartphone in a strategic shift that signals the failure of its bid to market the device directly to consumers on the Web.

Recommended for you

Tomorrow's tablets? Look, no hands

2 hours ago

Engineers in a suburban Chicago office complex have designed a new microphone that they say will be key to the future of smartphone and tablet technology because it gives consumers the ability to operate hand-held devices ...

Apple computer sells for record $905K in NY

Oct 23, 2014

One of the first Apple computers ever built has sold in New York for $905,000, leading Bonhams auction house to declare it the world's most expensive computer relic.

Review: Better cameras, less glare in iPad Air 2

Oct 22, 2014

If I've seen you taking photos with a tablet computer, I've probably made fun of you (though maybe not to your face, depending on how big you are). I'm old school: I much prefer looking through the viewfinder ...

Samsung phones cleared for US government use

Oct 21, 2014

Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday some of its Galaxy mobile devices were approved by the National Security Agency for use with classified U.S. government networks and data, a boost to the company's efforts to expand in ...

User comments : 0