Are NFC Adoption Setbacks Apple’s Fault?

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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?

Via TechCrunch:

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.

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Categories: Chips, iPhone 5

  • drumrobot

    “But if the iPhone doesn’t dominate market share, is this overblown?”

    But we’re talking about hardware marketshare [not software] because NFC is hardware. Therefore the most popular phone or phones mean the most. Operating systems are irrelevant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1102347975 Christopher Murphy

    some one should make a case with NFC tech in it like they did with a 2nd SIM card.

    • Kiwiholden

      Look up commbank kaching i cant remember if they said they were the first to do this or if they were just the first to have Facebook money transfers.
      And there is other banks and gadget makers doing it

  • CrispyRowe

    What’s the big deal with NFC anyway? I don’t know about you, but personally, if my credit/debit card is stolen, I’d prefer that the thief had a harder time of spending my money than by lazily waving my card in the vague direction of the till.

    • Luciana

      Well, it doesn’t have to be like that. You must be logged in to the micro-payment application in order to pay with NFC. Keeping your app logged in is the same as leaving your card PIN written inside your wallet.
      NFC is not just about “waving around and paying at will”. All the hardware and OS offer are the tools to use it. It’s up to the developers use it or no.

      • CrispyRowe

        I was talking more specifically about the way current credit cards work. I’ve just had an NFC card sent to me by my credit card company. It allows you to spend £15 without a pin or any kind of ID. Now £15 isn’t a lot of money but it’s more than could be spent with a basic chip and pin card, not to mention the potential for multiple £15 purchases. In response to what you were saying, if NFC apps require a pin then where exactly does the benefit lie? It hardly adds convenience, I wouldn’t exactly describe it as hard work making physical contact between my card and the reader.

        • Kiwiholden

          It’s $100 in aus

  • Zangpakto

    How about this… someone steals your phone, and can go make random payments? Cool idea right?… That mostly issue I’d imagine with not including it just yet and the slow pace it is being adopted for use…

    Security is a major issue, and security related jobs is increasing due to problems… Adding another headache? A tap and go system sounds cool, until you realise how many phones are constantly getting stolen…

    NFC is nice, but not ready for it… Android phones jump on latest apparent craze regardless if useful or not…. Besides, android is software, my computer can run it, but it don’t have NFC…

    • Luciana

      And how about someone steal your credit card and go make some random payments?

      You already suffer from this, my friend, NFC is just a neat new technology people are still afraid of using.

      We use NFC in Brazil for more than 10 years for subway and bus tickets. Works pretty nice, easy to use and refill. I’d love to pay for my cab, or my magazines with an NFC-enabled phone.

      Of course I cannot answer for the american and european markets, but the company I work for had a NFC-based mobile payment solution cancelled because the iPhone 5 didn’t carry it.

  • Shrivatsa Somany

    Actually, I don’t think it’s overblown (maybe a little actually). Even though Apple does not hold a majority market share, the industry does tend to put all it’s eggs in one basket when Apple says something will work (in this case, NFC). NFC, in my mind, is about useless when it comes to data transfer (a lot of my Android-using friends tend to use that as an example). For payments and such, as Luciana replied to Zangpakto, it’s the same as losing your credit card itself…so not including it because of that is a moot point IMO.

    You could say this perhaps, maybe Android using it isn’t enough to push NFC…but once Apple jumps on the wagon, the adoption could go up exponentially. Plus, Google doesn’t seem to be trying very hard with Google Wallet.

  • Kiwiholden

    Google hasn’t provided the appropriate codes/API¿ or whatever they need for NFC to work in Australia my bank, one of the biggest banks are still waiting on then so their customers can use NFC.

    All our major stores and bus/trains already use NFC

  • Kiwiholden

    Android being the market leader is completely irrelevant because android holds a few separate markets, there is the large part which is the lower end market of very cheap phones that offer very little advanced features.

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