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Android Wear now primed to rival Apple Pay, courtesy of Qualcomm

Android Wear might take back some ground from the Apple Watch thanks to a new industry partnership.

The gadget matrimony in question is between Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductors, paving the way for Android Wear payments.

That’s because NXP produces NFC technology, and has today announced Qualcomm will be rolling out its gear in future chips.

NFC is the contactless connection technology that makes mobile payment systems like Apple Pay possible. NXP’s technology is the very same that actually features in the Apple Watch, the iPhone 6, and the iPhone 6 Plus.

The partnership is important because the majority of Android Wear smartwatches make use of low-power Qualcomm Snapdragon chips.

NXP says the entire Snapdragon series will be getting access to the NFC technology, which means wearable chips will be getting NFC-loving too.

“NXP’s NFC and eSE chipsets are a natural addition to Qualcomm Technologies’ platforms, given NXP’s expertise in enabling secure transactions,” explained Dr. Cormac Conroy, Qualcomm’s vice president.

Related: Apple Watch vs Android Wear

We’re not just looking at wearables, mind. Qualcomm is keen to use the NFC technology for a wide array of uses, including in the smart home and automotive spaces.

Details are still thin on the ground for now, but the possibility of payments for Android Wear is a welcome boon for fans of the platform.

So what’s the time-frame on this? Well NXP and Qualcomm say the chips are already available to manufacturers now, so we’ll likely see the first wave of payment-toting Android wearables later this year.

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