Sony Studying Ways to Embed Cell Phones

Sony Corp. is studying ways to let consumers use their cell phones to buy groceries at convenience stores, pick up the tab for lunch and pay train fares, the company said Wednesday.

The electronics giant already has its own smart card payment service called Edy ? an acronym for "euro, dollar, yen" ? which is accepted by about 2,700 stores in Japan.

Sony said it's working on using the same computer chip technology, called FeliCa, in cell phones. About 2.7 million Edy cards are currently in circulation.

But the company declined to confirm a newspaper report Wednesday that it would tie up with NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan's largest mobile telephone provider, which accounts for roughly 60 percent of the cell phone market.

"We're looking into the possibility of integrating FeliCa technology into mobile phones, but beyond that we don't wish to comment," said Gerald Cavanagh, a Sony spokesman.

Sony wouldn't say which mobile telephone carriers it was considering working with.

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper reported Sony and DoCoMo will set up a joint venture to develop, manufacture and sell the chips.

News source: Yahoo!

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