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Nokia, Google boost NFC-enabled handset growth

Posted: 24 Dec 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NFC  handset  market research 

With support from heavyweight wireless players like Nokia Corp. and Google Inc., market research firm iSuppli Corp. says, the use of near field communication (NFC) in handsets is set for an explosive growth phase next year. iSuppli forecasts that worldwide shipments of cell phones with built-in NFC capability are projected to rise to 22.01 crore units in 2014, up by a factor of four from 5.26 crore in 2010.

By 2014, 13 per cent of all handsets shipped will integrate NFC, up from just 4.1 per cent in 2010, according to the forecast.

Jagdish Rebello, director and principal analyst for communications and consumer electronics at iSuppli, predicted a "mobile payment revolution" enabling a growing number of users to pay for things by holding a cell phone near a wireless terminal. "With NFC technology expected to be integrated into Nokia's cell phones and Google's Android operating system, the first shots of this revolution will be fired next year."

Nokia has said that starting next year all of its smartphones will incorporate NFC. Google and NXP Semiconductors NV announced earlier this month a strategic collaboration to integrate NFC into the latest version of the Android operating system, which is set to be released this week.

Some have suggested that NFC for mobile payment may have trouble catching on in some parts of the world, including the U.S. But Jeff Miles, director of mobile transactions for NFC-pioneer NXP, said the technology is poised to take off because it can be used for applications in addition to mobile payment—including peer-to-peer gaming and targeted advertising—and because it leverages a "pretty significant contactless payment infrastructure that is already out there."

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