Analysts from Juniper Research are saying that Apple’s decision to not include NFC in the iPhone 5 set back NFC adoption in North America and Europe by at least two years. But if the iPhone doesn’t dominate market share, is this overblown?
Before the iPhone 5 launched there was plenty of ‘will they, won’t they’ speculation about whether Apple would include NFC in the device. In the event Apple didn’t add the wireless transfer tech which can be used to power mobile payments — and that decision to eschew NFC has set the NFC market back by two years in the U.S. and Western Europe, says analyst Juniper Research.
While I don’t think Passbook is the answer and I maintain Passbook isn’t about mobile payments, rather tickets and loyalty card, I also don’t think NFC adoption in the North American and Europe has much to do with the iPhone 5 not including it. I think it’s easy to blame Apple, but really I think it’s that Europeans and North Americans just are not quite ready for mobile payments.
I think we’ll see wider deployment of card-based quick pay and tap and pay methods before we’ll see something tied to our phones. In Canada we’re slowly getting NFC-connected debit cards (to go with Mastercard and VISA) and I see that’s the pace we’re ready for.
The larger question might be why even with NFC Android phones pretty available, and it’s Android that sells more phones, why aren’t we seeing NFC for payments?
Photo from Flickr by Beau Giles.