Global sales of NFC-enabled phones grew 300 pc in 2012

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Shipments of handsets enabled with the contact-less payment technology will reach one billion by 2017, Berg Insight predicts

Global sales of handsets featuring NFC, the technology required to make contact-less payments, grew 300 per cent in 2012 to reach 140 million units, market research firm Berg Insight has found.

The company predicts shipments will grow 48.2 per cent annually to reach one billion units by 2017.

The technology is also used for electronic ticketing and establishing Bluetooth connections between devices.

Wider adoption of NFC in mobile phones began in 2011 and accelerated in 2012 when the top-ten handset vendors released nearly 100 NFC-enabled models.

However, Berg Insight senior analyst André Malm said the industry is yet to see stakeholders agree on business models for mobile payment networks and access to secure elements in NFC-enabled handsets that store the information.

Malm said: “It is the sum of many possible use cases for NFC rather than one single killer application that make the technology compelling for smartphone vendors already today. Once developers gain experience with NFC and get access to a larger installed base of compatible handsets, we can also expect to see entirely new use cases not yet imagined.”

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