Market research firm Deloitte has released its predictions for the telecoms sector in 2012, which include a few caveats regarding NFC payments.
According to Deloitte, many people are still uncomfortable with the idea of paying with their phones due to concerns over security and the battery draining aspects of NFC – a perception service providers are going to have to overcome before widespread adoption can happen.
Even if the mobile payment industry ends up stymied in 2012, Deloitte still projects that the number of NFC-embedded handsets will soar to 200 million by the end of the year.
According to Deloitte, this growth will be underpinned by the success of non-commercial NFC applications, such as tagging, health care monitoring and especially data transfer.
In fact, Deloitte is predicting that roughly one percent of all wireless data exchanged in 2012 will be between devices rather than routed over the internet – double the level of 2011. Bluetooth has been the old standby for short range wireless data exchange, but surging NFC should provide a strong alternative.
“NFC has been dominated by the ‘wave and pay’ notion of embedding a credit card into a mobile phone, but the application of the technology is likely to have a wider reach,” explained Simon Kerton-Johnson, lead telecoms partner at Deloitte.
Deloitte is also predicting that 2012 will be a big year for low cost smart phones, with over half a billion $100 models projected to ship by the end of the year.
NFC has typically been tied up with more expensive phones, but Broadcom has recently announced new hardware that will allow for $100 smart phones with NFC, 3G and GPS.