A fifth of smartphones will feature Near Field Communications (NFC) technology within three years time, an influential market research company forecasts, as the payment method finally fulfils years of predictions that it’s the Next Big Thing in mobile.
NFC tech, which is already on board the likes of the Google Nexus S and is used on Oyster Cards on the London Tube network, enables phone owners to pay for low-ticket items by waving their handsets over a reader.
According to a study from Juniper Research, NFC will take off to such an extent that come 2014 it’ll feature on around 300 million handsets worldwide.
The highest levels of penetration are likely to be in the US, Juniper claims, with Western Europe not too far behind.
Howard Wilcox, who penned the report, stated: "Juniper’s market analysis highlighted that, although there are still hurdles ahead, NFC prospects have been boosted by the succession of mobile operator and device vendor announcements.
"France is a case in point where operators expect to sell one million NFC devices this year."
News of the findings come after Apple reportedly opted out of the vogue for NFC – albeit only in the short-term. It’s believed that iPhones won’t boast the feature until the phone maker is satisfied there is a “clear standard” across the industry.