New research from Informa Telecoms & Media projects that the number of NFC handset shipped worldwide is expected to leap from 44 million in 2011 to more than 630 million in 2015, comprising 40% of all new handsets.
According to Informa, NFC-enabled device sales are expected to accelerate from 2013 onwards, due to wider availability and greater choice of NFC handsets, an improved contactless POS infrastructure, and growth NFC applications such as payments, tagging/sharing, access controls, coupons, loyalty cards, etc.
Informa says availability of NFC handsets will depend on the speed of deployment of NFC-enabled POS infrastructure, the handset vendors’ perception of the scale of the commitment to the market from mobile operators, and the financial services and retail sectors.
According to the research, Android will account for the largest number of NFC handset shipments from 2012.
“We expect a modest growth of the mobile NFC market for the next two years, but this will change as many of the leading players introduce NFC-enabled handsets, spurred to enter the market by fear of Apple’s and Google’s ambitions in the sector,” said senior analyst Guillermo Escofet. “Google has already played its hand, overshadowing moves by carriers in its home territory, the US. Apple is still waiting in the wings, leaving everyone guessing.”
From a monetary perspective, the total value of the transactions from mobile NFC payments is expected to grow from around $2.4 billion in 2011 to over $71 billion by 2015. Currently, over 90% is generated in Asia Pacific (primarily Japan and South Korea) but Informa expects this share to drop to around 40% by 2015 as Western Europe and North America strengthen their NFC infrastructure.