Report Claims iPhone 5 is Holding Back NFC

It’s almost difficult to imagine how Apple’s juggernaut iPhone 5 could be responsible for restraining the growth of any mobile technology, but when the new Apple smartphone was releases sans Near Field Communications technology, the business of NFC got bumped to the back-burner.

That’s according to a new report from Juniper. On Wednesday, Juniper Research published its revised forecasts for the global NFC market. By the firm’s own admission, Juniper is “significantly scaling back” its growth estimates for the North American and Western European markets.

While the report finds that by 2017 the proportion of NFC-enabled smartphones will be only marginally below previous estimates, global NFC retail transaction values are now expected to reach $110 billion in 2017, significantly below the $180 billion previously forecast.

So is Apple really to blame?

Apple’s decision to omit an NFC chipset from the iPhone 5 has reduced retailer and brand confidence in the technology, leading to reduced POS (Point of Sale) rollouts and less NFC campaigns, Juniper says.

“While many vendors have introduced NFC-enabled smartphones, Apple’s decision is a significant blow for the technology, particularly given its previous successes in educating the wider public about new mobile services,” said report author Dr. Windsor Holden. “Without their support, it will be even more difficult to persuade consumers – and retailers – to embrace what amounts to a wholly new means of payment.”

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