NFC shipments are expected to grow by 129% in 2014, predicts ABI Research. The vast majority of the technology will be placed in smart phones, as was the case in 2013 but that may decline as the technology is embedded into computing products, peripherals and speakers, digital cameras and printers, domestic appliances, cars and other products.
Consequently, smart phones will decline from a peak of 80% of all NFC device shipments in 2013 to less than 60% in 2017 as these other product categories see greater adoption of NFC.
An addition to ABI Research’s NFC Market Data is a new analysis by smart phone tier as well as by the different mobile, consumer electronics and non-consumer device categories. This segregates the market by high, mid and low-tier smart phones featuring NFC.
Currently the greatest level of adoption is in the mid-tier category, where approaching half of smart phones are NFC-enabled. This is to be expected as Apple influences the high-tier category and is a notable exception to NFC adoption.
“Much has been made of Apple’s decision not to add NFC and prioritize Bluetooth Low Energy for the time being,” says John Devlin, practice director at ABI. “However, ABI Research’s latest figures show that, in terms of connectivity, NFC is increasingly being adopted in an expanding range of products and will continue to grow. Current levels of smart phone adoption have triggered this and we don’t see this trend reversing.”
The launch of NFC-based payment services in different regions in 2014 and 2015 is expected to increase use as well, Devlin notes. “This is reflected in our forecast for Single-Wire Protocol SIM cards next year, with volumes expected to increase by 140% in 2014,” he adds.