One in five smartphones to have NFC functionality by 2014

14 Apr 2011

At least one in five smartphones globally will have NFC (near field communciations) contactless functionality over the next three years, according to new market forecasts from Juniper Research.

Worldwide, Juniper forecasts almost 300m NFC-capable smartphones by 2014. Juniper’s analysis indicates this growth will be driven in the short term by mobile network operators launching services in 20 early adopting countries before the end of 2012.

With an increasing number of handset vendors integrating NFC chipsets, Juniper forecasts that NFC payments and retail marketing capability via coupons and smart posters will become common among smartphone users in Western Europe, North America and other developed regions.  

“Juniper’s market analysis highlighted that, although there are still hurdles ahead, NFC prospects have been boosted by the succession of mobile operator and device vendor announcements,” said Howard Wilcox, author of the NFC Retail Marketing & Mobile Payments Report. “France is a case in point where operators expect to sell 1m NFC devices this year.”

Juniper said NFC is now attracting the attention of all the major players in France, including Google, France Telecom Orange and Telefonica, who see mobile commerce capability as vital. Juniper’s report pinpoints the main revenue opportunities but warns that business model structures still require development before NFC services will achieve critical mass.

The report also finds that North America will account for half of all NFC smartphones in 2014, followed by Western Europe. It also notes that service complexity is a challenge in each NFC rollout because so many entities – banks, mobile operators, transport companies and merchants – are involved.

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