NFC Installed Base to Exceed 500m Devices Within 12 Months

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The number of NFC enabled devices in use will exceed 500 million in 2014 according to a new report. ABI Research calculated that a minimum of 285 million mobile and consumer electronics devices will ship in 2013 as OEMs continue to drive the market for NFC as mobile operators struggle to gain control and bring their services to market.

Mobile manufacturers moved ahead with NFC in 2012 whilst MNOs were still largely focused on payments, where they have struggled to deliver tangible services. This has allowed predominantly Android OEMs to seize the initiative as they have delivered new services and features for connecting devices, sharing data and content, picking up information, and utilizing tags.

"NFC has reached the point of no return," commented John Devlin, practice director. "It all hinged on handsets; and next year we will see half-a-billion devices in the hands of consumers as it becomes more widely integrated. Up until this point banks and other service partners were holding back from committing to MNOs and it has always surprised me that they did not drive this forward themselves and invest to take charge of this market's potential."

Companies such as Blackberry and Samsung have developed and implemented clear strategies around NFC. They are differentiating themselves as they look to generate new service-based revenue streams utilizing NFC. Other brands, such as LG and Sony, are taking a different path as they horizontally integrate NFC across their broad product portfolios.

"Put simply the OEMs have innovated and made use of the simple abilities that NFC offers to increase interaction of people, devices, and their immediate environment. This is not just in mobile; tablets, PCs and peripherals, speaker docks, televisions, cameras, gaming and domestic appliances are all increasingly incorporating NFC," Devlin added.

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