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HAMPSHIRE, England -- One in every five smartphones will feature NFC contactless functionality over the next three years, according to new market data from Juniper Research.
Specifically, "NFC Retail Marketing and Mobil Payment Report" by Howard Wilcox puts the number of NFC capable smartphones at 300 million worldwide by 2014. The analysis indicates the growth will be fueled in the short term by mobile network operators launching services in 20 early adopting countries before the end of 2012.
Furthermore, the Juniper Research report forecasts that NFC payments and retail marketing via coupons and smart posters will be commonplace among smartphone owners in Western Europe, North America and other developed regions.
"Juniper's market analysis highlighted that, although there are still hurdles ahead, NFC prospects have been boosted by the succession of mobile operator and device vendor announcements. France is a case in point where operators expect to sell one million NFC devices this year," the report stated.
Major players in the tech arena are beginning to turn an eye toward NFC, including Google, France Telecom Orange and Telefonica. However, the research firm adds that business model structures still require development before NFC services reach critical mass.
The report also predicts that North America will account for half of the NFC smartphones in 2014, followed by Western Europe. In addition, the report explains that service complexity is a challenge with each NFC rollout because of the variety of entities involved in the process, such as banks, mobile operators, transport companies and merchants.