North America and Western Europe will be the two dominant players in the global near field communications (NFC) smartphone market in 2014, according to [pdf] a new white paper from Juniper Research. “Hitting the N-Mark in NFC” predicts the NFC smartphone market will approach 300 million devices by that time.
Far East & China Poised for Rapid Growth
Following North America and Western Europe, Juniper Research predicts the Far East & China will represent the third-largest regional market for NFC smartphones by 2014. The study suggests there will be particularly strong growth in NFC smartphones in the Far East & China after 2012, as RFID-based FeliCa feature phones in Japan are churned and replaced with NFC smartphones. This churn is expected to complement commercial NFC smartphone launches in other regional countries such as China.
NFC Proximity Payments Hold Potential
Juniper Research sees NFC proximity payments as a potentially major source of m-commerce income for marketers and retailers. With NFC proximity payments, a contactless NFC chip is embedded into the phone or SIM card and interacts with a payment application that is preloaded or downloaded over the air.
The transaction then takes places as a “wave and pay” transaction where phones equipped with NFC are waved in front of a contactless reader at a store or purchase point. These proximity purchases usually replace cash and are for transactions less than $25 USD.
NFC Has Varied Ecosystem
Juniper Research identifies numerous participants in the NFC ecosystem, including mobile operators, banks and credit card providers, retailers and transport operators, handset manufacturers/suppliers, and application vendors, consultants and service providers.
NFC Enables Mobile Ticketing
Nearly 15 billion tickets will be delivered to mobile devices worldwide by 2014, compared to just more than two billion this year, according to a previous study by Juniper Research. Data from “Mobile Ticketing Applications and Markets” indicates use of NFC tickets will become widespread in the next few years, although currently, there are only limited examples of NFC ticketing usage outside of the Far East owing to the lack of device availability.