I have received a comment on a previous post asking when Gemalto may release their Java Card 3 cards. Of course, I don’t have the information (I don’t work for Gemalto), and I doubt that anybody who would have this information would be allowed to publish it on a blog anyway.
I can tell that Gemalto will not release any Java Card 3.0 at Cartes’08. The reason is that Sun has not yet released the final version of the Java Card 3.0 TCK, i.e., the test suite that a product must pass before to be released as an implementation of the Java Card 3.0 specification.
There are other reasons to delay real products. The main one is that a complete Java Card-based product is quite likely to include some version of GlobalPlatform, the GlobalPlatform 3.0 specification has not yet been released. Another one, which I cannot assess, is the fact that developing and testing a Java Card 3.0 platform is no small work. And even though Gemalto has shown prototypes, it does not mean that the corresponding product is around the corner.
Finally, the first products you can expect are quite likely to be released as a developer’s toolkit, or not intended to be deployed. When will that happen? I don’t know, beecause there also are many non-technical reasons for releasing (or not) a product, and these reasons are even less predictable than the technical ones.
In the meantime, what can you do? Well, you should have attended JavaOne or Smart University’s The Art of Java Card 3.0 Programming tutorial, as prototype cards and development kits have been distributed in both events. You can also track the next tutorial sessions or conferences in which the Gemalto team will be involved, since such distributions may happen again. Until then, you will have to wait a few more months for the official release of the Java Card 3.0 development kit, and an undetermined amount of time for the release of the first Java Card 3.0 products.