CES ushered in a new era of smartphones and tablets. Dual-core Tegra 2 processors. LTE broadband data connections. Honeycomb on tablets (for starters). Laptop companions. Docks that turn your smartphone into a mini computer. Creme brulee-coated smartphones drowning in syrup and melted butter. Wait. That was breakfast.

But one thing that was nowhere to be found in the major smartphone releases? Near-field communication. The feature trumpeted in Android 2.3 Gingerbread (see our hands-on with NFC on the Nexus S) was nary to be seen in any of the smartphones announced at CES. Not in the Motorola Atrix. Not in the Droid Bionic. Not in the LG Revolution. Not in the HTC Thunderbolt. Or the Samsung 4G LTE Smartphone (we just love typing that, by the way) or any of the others.

That's not to say we won't see new phones with NFC in the coming months. Mobile World Congress is a month away. CTIA is a month after that. And carriers can release phones any damn time they want. So NFC isn't DOA, it was just MIA at CES. OK?