30 million NFC phones were shipped in 2011, huge growth ahead

30 million NFC phones were shipped in 2011, huge growth ahead
Global shipments of NFC handsets jumped 10 times to reach 30 million phones in 2011, according to the latest research by Berg Insight. There were more than 40 different handsets from leading manufacturers - such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - released with NFC on board.

And the growth trend will continue. By 2016, the research firm expects there to be nearly 700 million NFC-enabled handsets on the market. 

Usually, near-field communications (NFC) technology is usually associated with cashless payments on cell phones. It’s not the only use, though. NFC could help all kinds of low-energy transactions between devices. Merchant adoption however will not be as fast as initially expected - the expensive terminals and massive changes needed will take at least a couple of years to complete. In the meantime, though, NFC will appear on phones for other reasons:

Android devices were among the first to feature NFC chips, starting with the Nexus S in late 2010, but in 2011 some flagship Android models like the HTC Sensation still lacked support. In 2012, most companies include NFC not only in high-end but in the mid-tier and even low-end phones. Samsung with its Galaxy Ace and Mini series is one example.

One of the biggest - if not the biggest - swing factors for NFC is the next iPhone. So far, Apple has opted to include the low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 specification that can be used for purposes similar to NFC. With a thriving surrounding ecosystem, an NFC iPhone could give the needed push for NFC.

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Are you personally looking for NFC in your next smartphone or is this more of a theoretical advantage for you? Let us know in the comments below.

source: Berg Insight via BGR

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