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End of the world or beginning of NFC?

Week 02, 2012

… And get back to our natural occupation: information, analysis, forecasts, technology anticipation, etc. In this context, central questions have been ongoing for a few years is “how many NFC handsets are on the fields right now?” and “how many NFC handsets will there be in the near future?”

One may remember that in 2006, ABI Research anticipated that, in 2011, 30% of the handsets sold would be NFC-enabled, and 450 million NFC handsets would be sold in 2011 (cf. Smart Insights Weekly #06-40). This should make all analysts humble. Of course, back in 2006, there was no NFC handset at all, and no one had really foreseen the complexity of NFC deployments.

Nowadays, in early 2012, the situation is a lot better. At least the situation for market analysts is a lot better. We can see NFC handsets on the field, major NFC projects are happening, the pieces of the ecosystem puzzle are falling in place.

Besides analyzing the future, an almost equally difficult task is to analyze the present. However, a consensus is building in estimating the current number of NFC handsets on the field around 40 million. IMS research estimates 35 million NFC handsets have been shipped in 2011, and the total amount should reach 80 million by the end of 2012, a reasonable forecasting horizon (cf. Convergence section).

So if the end of the world is not to happen by the end of 2012, we will see the long awaited emergence of NFC as a mainstream technology.

Thierry Spanjaard

Chief Editor

Smart Insights