NFC is becoming daily news in global markets, as you may have noticed, with plenty of hype around the developer opportunity: http://bit.ly/mljyNO
According to this angle on article NFC adoption, in global markets, will be all about apps. Certainly that’s part of the story, but getting readers in place – from our experience here – has been key since the 2004 launch in Japan. Suggest it’s well-worth a moment to hear what truly talented long-time dev. players based overseas are actually saying though. [Eds]
Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum, a group formed to advance the use of the technology by ensuring interoperability among devices and services, said that one of the main reasons why NFC, and in particular mobile wallets, is back in the spotlight is because the group had recently released four new specifications to aid stakeholders in advancing their services.
He pointed to the standards around ensuring peer-to-peer communication between two NFC devices and opening up the reader-writer capability for NFC chips to developers as key developments that will accelerate adoption of the technology. The two standards were released along with two others in December 2010, he said during a recent interview with ZDNet Asia.
Tagawa, who is also the general manager of global standards and industry relations department at Sony’s FeliCa business division, said these new specifications give handset makers the incentive to include NFC capabilities within their devices as they embrace possible business opportunities which do not involve MNOs (mobile network operators).
“Many handsets used to be sold through MNOs and they would dictate the types of specifications to be included in these devices, but NFC is not always at the top of their priority lists,” he explained. However, with the new specifications, there can be new business use cases which “reap benefits that relate directly to phonemakers”, the executive explained.
With Google’s and Nokia’s participation, an analyst expressed high hopes for NFC-enabled handsets. Stela Bokun, mobile devices practice leader at Pyramid Research, said: “Mobile handsets that are NFC-capable will see skyrocketing sales in 2011 and 2012.
“These sales will be driven by the overwhelming supply of NFC-enabled smartphones that will hit the market in the next two years as well as service providers pushing their marketing strategies across the globe.” The research firm had released a study on Apr. 19 forecasting that NFC-enabled smartphones will contribute to 28 percent of total smartphone sales, or 250 million units, by 2015.
Eds Note: While it’s somewhat ‘challenging’ to pin a source for official numbers; we’d suggest, with at least three handset replacement cycles since the original service launch, that perhaps 75% of the market has NFC-enabled phone in Japan.. Today!