Feature video: The state of the NFC market

27 NOV 2012

In this special video feature Mobile World Live investigates progress in the NFC market and reviews the barriers that are holding back further growth. Topics range from the absence of Apple in the sector to how the industry can work as an ‘ecosystem’ rather than ‘egosystem.’ Featured companies include Gemalto, NXP, Orange, Vodafone and the GSMA, among others.

  • So it’s great to see that we’ve reached the tipping point on devices “9 out of the top 10” etc. but the simple fact remains, anyone buying one of these handsets doesn’t know that it has NFC and even if they did, they wouldn’t know what to do with it.

    The Lumia 920 has NFC. However, there are no tags shipped with the device demonstrating the technology or the benefits. The pairing to accessories is good, but no one will correlate that experience, with the one of being able to pay for stuff or tapping on a poster etc. to make something cool happen so nfc will get lost on them.

    The Galaxy SIII has NFC turned OFF by default out of the box (at least in the UK it has). What’s that about? Average consumer is now a) still not going to know about it because there’s nothing in the box to tell you about it and b) in the unlikely event that they come across an opportunity to use it, most likely is that it won’t work because Samsung decided to disable it by default.

    Barriers and more barriers to usage, with “high flying executives” just not getting consumers at all. It’s another example of how not to bring new tech to market. Reminds me of MMS…

    Apple will do NFC and when they do they’ll do it end to end and bypass everyone else trying to be in this space. They will market it and communicate it properly and simply, and consumers will be made aware of it when they buy the device. Everyone else in this video who has been bypassed will be scratching their heads wondering how it happened and no doubt moan about it.

    And there’s the crux, the success of the mobile industry has happened to the greater extent despite the industry rather than because of it. Slightly off-topic but representative of the fact, we still live in a world where a mobile operator believes it is acceptable to bill someone over £6000 for domestic data usage – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-20567165

    Until we move on from this kind of mentality we’ve simply got no hope.

    • Sigge

      Rupert I think you are right in your comments and the same applies to Andys comments above as well.
      This all need to be simplified. If you want to be successful in the mobile space, launching a successful service / application /technology it all starts with f7xing a perceived problem. On that note, especially when it comes to payments, I question if there r e a l l y is a problem out there. Entering pin when you buy something is generally speaking not an issue. So what problem is nfc really fixing?

      When it comes to pairing devices here the tedious BT pairing sequence is a thing of the past. Here nfc fixes a perceived problem and this is understood, clear and easy to grasp use case.

      I see still too many slides aand visions and future promises and no real concrete action or success. This all makes me think that nfc still has a long way to go. Its a great technology but without an ecosystem there will not be much business to8 speak of.

  • Simon Rockman

    The “don’t call it a trial”, roll-out in Nice has been live for over two years now. What lessons can we learn? How has usage developed? When I was there it was at 300 journeys a week on public transport. what is it today?

  • Andy

    Your interviewees seem to have missed the point – they need to establish a need for NFC.

    I worked in the e-Money business (Mondex, Visa Cash et al) 10-15 years ago and it proved to be a failure as users did not want it.

    I see extremely strong parallels here with a bunch of mobile executives that know nothing about banking slavering at the opportunity to get into a perceived new revenue stream…. it will fail as surely as Mondex and Visa Cash failed.

    There is no demand from users for this – we don’t want to get rid of cash – we don’t want our mobile phone providers involved in our non-mobile transactions.

    Just because you can do something is not always a good reason for doing it …. Apple seem to be the only ones with any sense on this topic