Researchers predict 2 billion NFC-enabled smartphones will be shipped by 2017

Earlier this year, we have heard a lot of news suggesting companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple are diving headfirst into mobile payment system. The apparent reason for this is because this sector is predicted to become a multi-billion dollar industry by year 2016. It wouldn’t be a surprise if I tell that smartphones would be the fuel for the growth of this industry; without smartphones, there wouldn’t be mobile payment system, obviously.

Most recent predictions suggest that by 2017, at least, 2 billion smartphones are capable of doing NFC transactions including mobile payments. Research firm, ABI Research, predicted earlier this year that an estimated 80 million NFC-enabled smartphones would be shipped this year. But it raised the bar to 120 million after surveys revealed that 9 out of 10 OEMs manufacture devices that support Near Field Communication technology.

ABI Research believes in 2013, NFC enablement will get out of “trial phase” and would be ready for full-blown services. While many would think NFC’s main function is to power mobile payment systems, they’re partially wrong. There are more services near-field communication technology can offer than just mobile payment, however, it is the latter that majority of big companies are into right now.

“NFC inclusion into devices other than handsets shows market development and an understanding that NFC will be more than payments. Added value will be provided through the enablement of convenient online/offline authentication, retail and loyalty applications, reader functionality, AFC, and advertising as a host of value added opportunities presented to service providers from which they can draw new revenue streams,” ABI Research said in a post on website.

Furthermore, Google and Microsoft are two of the few companies that are aggressively pursuing the leadership in the technology but it seems the latter has the upper hand. While Apple said it would also be engaging into the mobile payment system, it wants to let its competitor do the research before it releases its own system minus the problems.

[source: ABI Research]

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