Report: Apple Takes Bite Out of NFC 

Dec. 10, 2012

Based mainly on the fact that Apple did not include support for NFC in its iPhone 5, a U.K.-based research firm has scaled back its estimate of mobile payments growth in the near and medium term. Juniper Research said it expects the value of NFC retail transactions to grow to $110 billion by 2017 rather than $180 billion, which the company forecast in an earlier report. Researchers feel Apple’s decision will negatively affect retailer confidence in the technology, entrenching their reluctance to invest in POS upgrades and delaying widespread NFC adoption in North American and Western Europe for an additional two years.

“While many vendors have introduced NFC-enabled smartphones, Apple’s decision is a significant blow for the technology, particularly given its previous successes in educating the wider public about new mobile services,” said Dr. Windsor Holden, research director of Juniper Research and author of NFC Mobile Payments Market Update. “Without their support, it will be even more difficult to persuade consumers—and retailers—to embrace what amounts to a wholly new means of payment.”

Whereas NFC adoption in the western hemisphere remains in question, the report said forecasts regarding retail transactions using the technology in Japan and Korea, where NFC has already gained a foothold, remain unchanged.