Near Field Communications has had a 'breakthrough' year with 35 million NFC-enabled handsets shipped in 2011, an analyst has claimed.
A report from IMS Research predicted that the number of NFC-enabled handsets shipped would increase to almost 80 million by the end of 2012. It said the likes of Orange and Barclaycard's Quick Tap contactless payment scheme, which was launched in the UK in May 2011, helped grow the profile of NFC.
Customers can use contactless payment with their phone in the likes of McDonald's, Pret A Manger and Boots. Other milestones cited by IMS include the launch of Google Wallet in the US and a government-funded scheme in France.
IMS Research senior analyst Don Tait said: '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.'
Tait said NFC's profile will be further raised in 2012 by its availability at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Everything Everywhere, Telefónica and Samsung are involved in the project.