âThe mobile NFC market isn't just growing — it's exploding, suggesting that contactless payments could quickly become the norm. Emerging technology forecasting and analysis firm ABI research expects an increase in NFC-enabled devices shipped to skyrocket from 102 million this year to 1.95 billion in 2017.
The rapidly growing potential user base is making investment into NFC applications more justifiable, ABI said. Next year the firm expects to see NFC come out of its "trial phase." Android and WP8 operating systems are already pushing the handset market forward and are even beginning to build into other devices with the addition of NFC into Android tablets and Windows PCs.
"Nine out of the top ten OEMs now have NFC-enabled handsets commercially available, with most housing an embedded secure element solution," said research analyst Phil Sealy. "We expect handset shipments to more than double next year with NFC inclusion likely to become a default technology integrated into flagship handsets."
But it won't be just handsets, the company said in a news release. "[W]e are expecting a surge of NFC functionality included within computer electronic devices, for simple pairing of devices, exchange of data, and online authentication functionality. In total, 395 million CE devices will ship in 2017, predominantly into media tablets, PC accessories, and gaming consoles."
NFC inclusion in devices other than handsets shows market development and an understanding that NFC will be used for more than payments, ABI said. The technology will also add value through the enablement of convenient online/offline authentication, retail and loyalty applications, reader functionality, AFC, and advertising.
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