Sony Ericsson has confirmed to Pocket-lint that the new Xperia Arc announced at CES in Las Vegas won’t have NFC support even though the new phone is running Google’s Gingerbread (Android 2.3) operating system when it launches in the next couple of months.

“This device doesn’t support NFC”, Steve Walker, acting head of global marketing at Sony Ericsson has confirmed to Pocket-lint in a one-to-one interview. “Of course it’s in the platform, but we haven’t implemented the hardware in this particular product. For every individual device we are making the trade-off between cost, in terms of performance, in terms of all the things that we pack in".

When asked why it wasn’t embracing the new technology Walker acknowledged that while NFC was really close on the horizon the infrastructure outside of Japan is still in its infancy.

“I think we see NFC as something that is really close on the horizon, it’s been talked about for a really long time”, says Walker. “Of course we have NFC capable devices in Japan where the infrastructure has existed for a long time, but NFC doesn’t make sense if it’s only in handsets. It only makes sense if there is infrastructure and solutions for the use of NFC, whether it's train ticketing, or payment systems. In most EU markets there isn’t that infrastructure”.

So does that mean Sony Ericsson is never going to bring out an NFC handset? Far from it, if reading between the lines is anything to go by.

“We do feel that it is very close now. There is a strong momentum gathering behind NFC. Without specifically predicting any product launches we do believe it is something that will come into the portfolio pretty soon”.

Could Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play, rumoured to be launching at Mobile World Congress, feature NFC capability, or what about the yet-to-be-confirmed Hallon device?

Pocket-lint will be at MWC in February bringing you all the news as it happens.

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