Hewlett-Packard has begun developing NFC-enabled phones and tablets designed to leverage mobile payments and loyalty rewards programs, say two anonymous sources familiar with the plans.
According to Bloomberg, the move is an attempt for Hewlett-Packard to revive the Palm Inc. brand, which was being overtaken by the smart phone industry before HP bought the company for $1.2 billion in 2010.
HP is also looking to capitalize on the burgeoning NFC market, with Google and ISIS launching NFC payments services and Samsung, Nokia and RIM rolling out NFC-enabled handsets.
“Other folks are going to build this capability into devices, so, competitively, HP needs to do that,” Ed Finkler, an independent programmer working on Palm’s WebOS operating system, told Bloomberg.
HP will release its first TouchPad tablet, which runs on Palm’s WebOS, in the U.S. in July. According to Bloomberg, the device is meant to be competitive with the Apple iPad and other tablets running on the Google OS.
The first NFC-enabled HP devices may be available by the end of the year, the sources say.
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