NFC on my iPhone - Not Yet Surely??
Well actually it's true. And it's a not just a boost for the NFC payments market either. It's very timely for the mobile coupons market too, which is receiving its fair share of apps for iPhone coupons. Zenius Solutions announced yesterday an innovative retrofit solution for the iPhone. It adds a mobile wallet menu on the iPhone, allowing a consumer to choose from a PIN-secured suite of applications such as credit cards, subway tickets, and coupons. This solution means iPhone users can pay at any currently-deployed contactless POS terminal. This solution can also be added to a number of GSM phones too. So what's the impact of the prospects for NFC and coupons? Well, total shipments of iPhone to date now exceed 33 million worldwide, with 7.4 million shipped in Q3 2009, Apple has stated. With at least 4 billion mobile subscribers worldwide this announcement won't have a major impact in terms of sheer volumes of users. But it's likely to be popular with iPhone users in regions where there are contactless readers at POS locations in stores, subways etc. Mobile coupons have great potential and are already seeing significant traction in a number of markets. At Juniper Research, we see many drivers for mobile coupons, not least of which is the vastly improved redemption rates compared to traditional paper coupons. It will be fascinating to see how volumes develop for interim NFC solutions like this not just on iPhones but on GSM phones too. It's in this latter segment that we'll be able to obtain a clearer view of the prospects for volumes of interim solutions as opposed to native NFC enabled phones which are expected to hit the market soon.