Android/NFC: NXP is optimistic about handset sales volumes
May 09th, 2011 - 01:25 pm ET by C. D.
Now that Android Gingerbread integrates support of the NFC technology, the next step is to produce compatible handsets. NXP, provider of the solution present in Android, has assured everyone that delivery estimates of NFC handsets should be strong this year.
One of the new features introduced in the Gingerbread version of the Android platform is support of NFC (Near Field Communication) which should introduce new mobile service types (payment, information, online ticketing) while also developing new economic models which should generate revenue for the providers of these services.
The NFC solution provided by European chipset manufacturer NXP Semiconductor has been selected for implementation into Android Gingerbread, with it being possible to integrate its dedicated controllers into handsets (as is the case for the Nexus S, for example).
After years of waiting, the first mass produced NFC handsets will now start to become available. Will we see large sales of such devices in 2011? NXP’s CEO Rick Clemmer is enthusiastic about this: "each time we discuss with our colleagues at Google, they ask us to double our estimated figures for Android."
Optimistic, or a real take off coming In the bottom fork, this represents between 40 and 45 million handsets, but if you believe Google estimations, the number could be as high as 100 million NFC devices. While the number sold during the first half of this year will be insignificant, a view of the markets potential could become clearer by the middle of the year (with a lot of new models to be announced).
Rick Clemmer remains confident about the perspectives as once the first NFC models are available, massive uptake will quickly follow. Besides the Nexus S and some variations of Samsung’s Galaxy S II, there have so far been very few other NFC handset announcements.
Google is currently working on mobile payment/non-contractual payment methods with VeriFone and Ingenico in the United States so that a system adapted to Android handsets will be available, although this should also be compatible with other mobile platforms (like RIM, who are also working on this subject).
Doubts remain about the presence of an NFC module in the next iPhone (positive feedback on this subject was made during the MWC show in February) while RIM has announced their first NFC BlackBerry, which could assist in getting the market to take off.