Rumor: Google, Sprint to reveal mobile payment plan May 26; UPDATE: YouTube announcement down

Google NFCWe heard in March that Google was testing its mobile payments service and now Bloomberg claims that insider sources told them that the Mountain View company could introduce its digital wallet service as early as May 26. Those familiar with Google’s plans, who insisted on anonymity, said it will be launching the service on Sprint phones with NFC chips that will allow for users to make mobile payments entirely via phone. To date, that only includes the Sprint Nexus S, but who knows – maybe Google will be unveiling upgraded Android-Sprint handsets with the capability or at least hint at a roadmap of phones that will be getting the technology.

Google and Sprint have naturally declined to comment, although it is telling that Google has sent out invitations for a press event this week and will stream an announcement on its YouTube channel. And According to AllThingsD, Google will give a hands-on demo of its NFC-enabled Android phones at the D: All Things Digital conference next week.

This can’t come as a total surprise: There have been plenty of rumors about the company’s plans for NFC. But if the reports pan out, Google and Sprint will be the first major mobile players to bring NFC to consumers on a wider scale. There is definitely an NFC race going on and all signs point to a Google finishing first. That said, there will still be some surprises (or at least official revelations) on the 26th.

Who’s going to be involved?

Obviously Google can’t just put NFC chips in its phones and be done with it – because it already did that. The Nexus S was introduced earlier this year with its NFC tag reading ability, which was groundbreaking. Groundbreaking, but just a little too ahead of its time to be useful. Bloomberg’s insiders say VeriFone and ViVoTech (both manufacture credit card readers) will produce hardware and software that will be compatible for the mobile payment system. It’s also very possible MasterCard will have collaborated on the project, as it was rumored to have been. And of course, Sprint’s coming along for the ride.

Where will it work?

The Wall Street Journal’s insiders say retailers including Macy’s, American Eagle, and Subway will have new checkout terminals that will work with the NFC-enabled Android phones. New York and San Francisco are slated to be test cities, as we reported earlier, and reports now also include Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

Who’s next?

Industry insiders were convinced the next-gen iPhone would include the NFC chip, but reports from the U.K. suggested otherwise. Still, since then we’ve learned that Apple could be introducing the iPhone 4S, a slight upgrade from the iPhone 4, this fall before the iPhone 5. It’s possible the technology will be included in the iPhone 5.

There have also been reports about Isis, a collaboration between AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. The joint venture between the three major carriers wants to implement NFC technology into handsets and introduce the mobile wallet to a variety of communities by mid-2012.


We were excited to watch the events of Google’s announcement on its YouTube channel today, which was sporting a countdown until the press conference. Unfortunately, Google’s being tight-lipped and not giving the public access to the event. The URL originally streaming the likely mobile payment announcement now simply says: “This video is private. Sorry about that.” Hopefully Google restores the video cast, but we’re thinking not given the amount of information that’s already made the rounds about today’s event.


Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition: Everything you need to know

The Vivo Nex Dual Edition is the gorgeous flagship we need to close out 2018. In addition to dual screens, the Nex Dual Edition has some other awesome features. Here's everything you need to know about the new Vivo Nex Dual Edition.

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

New rumors say the Pixelbook 2 could show up at CES 2019

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.

Android 9.0 updates to stretch into 2019 — will your phone get a slice of Pie?

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.

The Galaxy A8s is Samsung's first with a hole-punch camera cutout

Samsung is building exciting, technologically innovative midrange phones, and the latest to be revealed is the new Samsung Galaxy A8s, which may give us an idea of what the new Samsung Galaxy S10 will look like.

The best smartphone stocking stuffers for a very techy Christmas

If you've got a tech-loving smartphone enthusiast to buy for, we can help you out. Here's a selection of top phone accessories that would make amazing stocking stuffers so you can have a very Merry Christmas.

OnePlus's 5G phone should arrive in May 2019, may cost up to $850

OnePlus will be among the first companies to put the new Snapdragon 855 processor into a phone, and will also release a separate and more expensive 5G phone in 2019 with the help of U.K. network EE.

Santa Claus is coming to town. Get ready with these Christmas apps

Like it or not, Christmas comes but once a year. Thankfully, we've got a list of the best Christmas apps to help get you into the holiday spirit, just in case you want to call Santa or become a Christmas elf.

Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.

Google makes it easy to donate to charity straight through the Play Store

As we head into the holiday season, Google announced a new feature on Google Play that makes it a little easier to donate to charity. Through the new page, you'll be able to choose from a range of charities to donate to.
Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.