Sales of mobile phones featuring near field communication (NFC) technology grew 300% year-on-year in 2012, and will continue growing at a CAGR of 48.2% through 2017, Berg Insight predicts.
The research firm states sales of NFC equipped mobiles hit 140 million units in 2012, and forecasts the figure will hit a billion by 2017. Leading vendors are fueling the rise, with the top ten device makers releasing nearly 100 NFC enabled models during 2012.
While NFC is often touted as a mobile payments technology, André Malm, senior analyst at Berg Insight, notes vendors are increasingly using the technology to enable information exchange, device pairing for Bluetooth and WLAN connections, access control, and e-ticketing.
“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,” Malm says, adding that new applications will emerge as “developers gain experience with NFC and get access to a larger installed base of compatible handsets.”
The firm also claims sales of high-end smartphones with quad-core processors hit 40 million units in 2012, and that total smartphone shipments hit 690 million units, a rise of 47% on 2011.