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Shipments of NFC phones to top 100 million if iPhone 5 comes an NFC chip

Sources talking to DigiTimes are saying that sales of NFC-enabled smartphones will top 100 million this year, if the next iPhone incorporates an NFC chip.

According to the unnamed sources, this figure will come on top of an already estimated 80 million shipments of other NFC-enabled devices. The 80 million figure comes from an IMS report released last December, heralding 2011 as a big leap forwards for NFC.

The report quotes IMS analyst Dan Tait saying: “After seven or so years of false dawns and frequent disappointment, 2011 has proved to be something of a breakthrough year… Most of the leading cellular handset manufacturers have launched NFC-enabled handsets over the last 12 months. They include Samsung, RIM, Nokia and HTC. Apple is the main player yet to release an NFC-enabled handset.”

35 million NFC-equipped phones, including the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and the Samsung Tocco Quick Tap, were sold last year.

Recently we’ve seen Visa and Visa Europe certify NFC’d phones for its payWave platform, MasterCard has formally got behind the idea of NFC phones (BlackBerry phones at least), and PayPal has updated its Android app, allowing for money to be shared between phones using NFC.

In the UK, the four big networks Samsung and Visa are working on a joint venture for a unified NFC payment ecosystem in the UK which will be ready in time for the London Olympic Games.

Elsewhere in Europe, BlackBerry and Telefónica will be trailing the Telefónica Wallet tap-to-pay service at Telefónica’s HQ in Spain.

Source: IMS Research, DigiTimes

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