Samsung Galaxy S III to be official Olympics phone

We heard as far back as April last year that Samsung was producing an Olympics phone, but now it has been confirmed. That phone is the Samsung Galaxy S III

But not just any old S III. This is a limited edition 'showcase device', which will come enabled with Visa's mobile payment application, Visa payWave. If you happen to be a Samsung or Visa-sponsored athletes or trialist, you'll probably be getting one through the post. The rest of us will have to look on in envy.

As you probably know, the S III (and thus, the Olympics version too) comes equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) payment capability, which is where Visa payWave comes in.

Sandra Alzetta, senior VP of mobile at Visa Europe, says: 'Mobile technology has long been a revolutionary force in our lives and NFC-enabled devices such as the Galaxy S III will fundamentally change the way we pay. The future is mobile and cash usage will only continue to decline as people use their mobile devices to manage their money, shop and pay. This summer our partnership with Samsung will showcase all the advantages of the future of payments: security, convenience, speed and flexibility being forefront among them.'

Visa payWave for mobile allows users to select the Visa icon on their mobile device and hold the phone to a contactless payment terminal to pay. Purchases above £20 require a passcode though, for added security. You can also check your transaction history and view an account balance. Presumably that means athletes can do their shopping out and about without having to worry about loose change and different currencies.

There should be around 140,000 terminals in use around London during the games, so plenty of places to use the phone and app too. If you happen to be an athlete and can't find what you want…well, there's always the bonus of having the most-talked about mobile phone in your pocket. A free one too – and free is always good.

The rest of us will have to keep a keen eye on auction sites for any cast-offs.

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