Though it may have appeared that near field communication was losing popularity, that clearly isn’t the case.
Although it may appear that some companies are looking for paths other than those using NFC technology – such as the recent moves made by large mobile payments wallets to include QR codes – this is not at all the case when it comes to device manufacturers.
In fact, a new report has suggested that the number of enabled devices will reach 500 million next year.
The report, entitled “NFC Devices, Strategies, and Form Factors” was issued by ABI research and has shown that there will be a minimum of 285 million mobile devices that will ship by the end of this year that will include NFC technology as a part of their features. This will be an element of a greater effort by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to push toward the use of this tech as mobile operators battle to hold a level of control and to ensure that their services are strong in the marketplace.
The number of devices with NFC technology, this year, is considerably greater than that seen in 2012.
Mobile device manufacturers went full speed ahead with NFC technology last year, while the network operators still had their eyes set on the tech in terms of mobile payments. As the penetration among consumer devices of this technology is still not widespread, it has caused the network operators to struggle to be able to offer consumers tangible services. It has also allowed the OEMs to take the reins and start to come up with a new range of different features and services that allow the devices to connect, such as for content and data sharing, using enabled tags, and obtaining information.
According to ABI practice director, John Devin, “NFC has reached the point of no return.” He went on to say that when it comes to NFC technology, “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.” He explained that “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.”