NFC version of Nokia Lumia 610 accidentally leaked on YouTube (update: now official)

In a world where NFC is just starting to become useful, its notable absence on Nokia's Windows Phones has been increasingly, well, notable. But a video that temporarily appeared on the Finnish phone-maker's YouTube account reveals that NFC is indeed coming, with a new version of the Lumia 610 on the Orange network apparently set to become the first handset to make it happen somewhere in Europe. The video was quickly pulled, but not before Thegadgetbuff managed to grab a dodgy rip of it, which you'll see after the break. It contains an interview with Andrea Bacioccola, whose job title ("Lead program manager, NFC") pretty much says it all -- even before he gets to mentioning stuff like FourSquare checking-in, audio speaker pairing like with the N9, and a new Nokia Tag Writer app that could possibly do something similar to the customizable Xperia SmartTag system. See for yourself after the break, and as mentioned, please forgive the clip's piratical quality.

Update: Nokia has put out a press release confirming the above, and saying that the new NFC-equipped Lumia 610 will be out on Orange early in the next quarter. It's also certified for MasterCard's PayPass technology. Official video now added too.

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Monaco - Nokia today announced an NFC version of the recently-launched Nokia Lumia 610, the most affordable smartphone in the Lumia range and the perfect introduction to Windows Phone for a younger audience.

Orange will be the first operator to range the Lumia 610 NFC, which can pair with NFC accessories and read NFC tags. The Lumia 610 NFC also has the hardware and software enablers for the implementation of NFC payment and ticketing solutions, and has been certified for contactless payments both with MasterCard PayPass® technology, and with Visa's mobile application for payments at the point of sale, Visa payWave.

"Nokia continues to lead the field in NFC with this latest implementation on the Windows Phone platform, in which we have the full support of Orange," said Ilari Nurmi, head of product marketing for Nokia's Smart Devices business unit. "We're bringing NFC right across our portfolio, and together with our ever-growing range of NFC accessories we're making it easy for people to connect via a single tap. We're also enabling operators and other service providers to build NFC payment and ticketing solutions on top of our smartphones."

"Orange is committed to rolling out mobile NFC services in all its European territories and as part of this goal we're very excited to be the first operator to launch the Lumia 610 NFC," said Yves Maitre, Senior VP Mobile Multimedia & Devices at Orange. "The Nokia Lumia smartphones have been very well received by Orange customers. We are now going one step further and adding an NFC-enabled handset to this popular range of devices, enabling people to use contactless services via a single tap. Nokia is a natural fit for us regarding NFC and, like Orange, has shown a very early commitment to the standard."

Payments certified

MasterCard PayPass® technology provides consumers with a fast and convenient alternative to cash at the point of sale for their everyday purchases. Devices certified by MasterCard, such as the Lumia 610 NFC, go through a rigorous testing process by a MasterCard accredited laboratory to ensure they will work seamlessly with the PayPass network.

"We are excited to have certified the Lumia 610 NFC for use with our industry-leading PayPass technology, joining other Nokia smartphones helping consumers choose when, where and how they shop on devices they own and love," said Mung Ki Woo, group executive, Mobile at MasterCard.

The Lumia 610 NFC is expected to be available early in the third quarter of 2012.