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Seeding the Global Market for Mobile NFC Apps

It's now forecast that a total of 1.95 billion near field communication (NFC) enabled devices will ship in 2017 -- a combination of both mobile handsets and consumer electronics (CE) Devices -- according to the latest market study by ABI Research.

The majority of NFC enablement will continue to be focused in the mobile handset market, although ABI says that they are expecting a surge of NFC functionality included within CE products -- for simple pairing of devices, exchange of data, and online authentication functionality.

In total, 395 million CE devices will ship in 2017, predominantly into media tablets, PC accessories, and gaming consoles.

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.

The increase in potential user base is making investment into NFC applications more justifiable. Next year ABI Research expects to see NFC come out of its current trial phase.

Android and WP8 are already pushing the handset market forward and now building out into other ecosystem devices with inclusion into Android tablets and Windows PCs.

"2012 is the first time that we have raised forecasts for NFC-enabled handsets, up from 80 million units to 102 million for year-end 2012," said Phil Sealy, research analyst at ABI Research.

Nine out of the top ten OEMs now have NFC-enabled handsets commercially available, with most housing an embedded secure element solution.

ABI expects mobile phone handset shipments to more than double next year with NFC inclusion likely to become a default technology integrated into the primary vendor's flagship smartphone devices.

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