ABI Research: Smartphones Accounts for Majority of NFC Shipments in 2013

Building on the momentum gained last year, smartphones will continue to account for the majority of NFC shipments in 2013 as volumes jump by 129 percent. However, importantly for the future of NFC, this trend is set to decline from 2014 onwards as attach rates in other categories, including computing products, peripherals and speakers, digital cameras and printers, domestic appliances and automotive, increase more rapidly.

Consequently, smartphones will decline from a peak of 80 percent of all NFC device shipments this year to less than 60 percent in 2017 as these other product categories see greater adoption of NFC.

The ABI Research report shows that currently the greatest level of adoption is in the mid-tier smartphone category, where approaching half of smartphones are NFC-enabled. This is to be expected as the high-tier smartphone category is heavily influenced by Apple, which remains the notable exception for NFC adoption.

Practice director, John Devlin, said: “Much has been made of Apple’s decision not to add NFC and prioritize Bluetooth Low Energy for the time being. However, ABI Research’s latest figures show that, in terms of connectivity, NFC is increasingly being adopted in an expanding range of products and will continue to grow. This has been triggered by current levels of smartphone adoption and we don’t see this trend reversing.”

“In addition, the volume of announcements and agreements relating to the launch of NFC-based payment services in all regions indicates that there will be another wave of interest in 2014-15.”