Thirty million NFC enabled handsets were sold last year - ten times more than the year before.
That's according to Berg Insight, and shows the results of the technology being pushed so hard in recent times - even if we're not using it to its full potential. More than 40 NFC-enabled devices were on the market at the time of the study.
Berg reckons that by 2016, there'll be 700 million of the blighters in circulation.
“Even though it will take some time before the stakeholders agree on business models for payment networks, other use cases such as reading tags and easy pairing of devices may well be compelling enough for handset vendors to integrate NFC in mid- and high-end devices already today,” said André Malm, a senior analyst at Berg Insight.
Those sales numbers sound good in principle, but of course that's not to say 30 million handsets were sold because they had NFC on board.
The question remains are we as consumers ready for it? Let's face it - NFC has been around for years. This particular author remembers doing a TV feature on it back in 2007 when O2 was involved in a trial with London Underground to allow NFC-enabled Nokias to add as Oyster cards. We were also treated to examples of using said phone to pay for a sandwich in Pret.
Yet, since then, it's not been massively marketed and, despite the best attempts of RIM, Nokia and others over the last 12 months, still isn't as integral a part of our lives as the networks may have hoped.
We do have high expectations though - having spent some time recently using a Sony Xperia S and playing around with Smart Tags, there's definitely a germ of an idea there - it's just getting it right. Dare we say it'll probably need Apple to bring it to the fore of public consciousness and into the hands of the masses?
What do you think?