Google Wallet Launch Sparks Talk of NFC Smartphone War

The battle for mobile payments supremacy is on, according to those who want to see Google and Apple in direct competition with competing NFC-enabled smartphones.

Following Monday’s long-awaited launch of Google Walllet, many industry analysts and mobile market watchers says it’s only a matter of time before Apple steps up to challenge Google in this burgeoning space.

While the Google Wallet app is only available at the moment for users of the Sprint Nexus S 4G phone, Google Wallet is being widely seen as a major, ground-breaking step in the right direction for the future of mobile payments and the adoption of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology by smartphone platforms.

NFC, which allows mobile customers pay for items in brick-and-mortar stores by simply tapping their device on a PayPass reader, hasn’t yet taken off in the US as many industry analysts had hoped. But the lack of growth has been directly linked to a lack of NFC implementation by the major players in mobile. Fortunately for proponents of NFC, the big boys in mobile are now putting their money where their mouths are.

Incredibly, the launch of Google Walllet has sparked considerable discussion about Apple. Putting it bluntly, some believe Google may know something that others mostly do not – possibly that the forthcoming 5th generation iPhone will deliver NFC technology. Given that Google has unveiled its much-hyped mobile payments app just weeks before the new iPhone is expected, some are interpreting the move to suggest that Apple may surprise the mobile community by packing an NFC punch with its next-gen iPhone.

So who will win the battle for mobile payments supremacy? It looks like the war may be about to begin in earnest.