NFC technology has been around for a while now, but awareness of which phones can access it seems to be quite low. You might think that pretty much anyone under 30 will already know about NFC technology and be au fait with NFC smartphones. But although younger people are more likely to use smartphones, they may not be aware that their smartphone has NFC technology.
Recent research by Ofcom suggests that around 62% of people – of all ages – are investing in smartphones rather than traditional mobile phones as the digital age continues to take hold. Many of those smartphones will already have NFC capability, but their owners may not be fully aware of that fact or of how to access NFC information.
To give you an idea of how many smartphones already have the capability of receiving NFC tag information, in 2011 there were almost 35 million NFC-enabled smartphones: it is forecasted that by 2016 there will be 900 million NFC-enabled phones.
Here is a list of just some such makes and models already available on the market:
E320 Liquid Glow
E320 Liquid Express
Bold 9790, 9900 and 9930
Curve 9350, 9360, 9380, 9390
Nexus 4, 7, 10 and S
Droid DNA, Incredible 4G LTE
Droid Incredible 4G LTE
Evo 4G LTE
HTC J Butterfly
One, One SV, One VX, One X, One XL
Ruby (aka Amaze 4G)
Windows Phone 8X
Optimus 3D Max, 4X HD, Elite, G, L5, L7, LTE, LTE Tag, Net, Vu
Droid Razr, Razr HD, Razr M, Razr Maxx HD
Photon Q4G LTE
Lumia 610 NFC (Windows 7.5)
Lumia 620, 720, 820, 920, 928
Galaxy Ace 2, Axiom, Mini 2, Note, Note II, Premier, Rugby LTS, S Advance, Blaze 4G, S II, S III, S III Mini, S4, Stratosphere II, Victory 4G LTE
Wave 578, M and Y
Xperia Acro, Ion, P, S, Sola, T, V, VL, Z
Some of these models have been available for quite some time, but many owners are just beginning to realise that they have access to NFC technology as more and more NFC tags become used in everyday advertising and promotions.
As you can see from the above list, there are already lots of smartphones capable of receiving data from NFC tags and there are even more NFC smartphones out there manufactured by less well-known names.
Smartphones are becoming affordable to more and more people, meaning that within a very short space of time, most people who own a phone will own a smartphone. And by then, even more smartphones will be capable of accessing NFC technology.
The smartphone is a powerful marketing tool and using NFC technology as part of your marketing strategy will allow your customers instant access to your business. Customers are already becoming increasingly reliant on their smartphones and their expectations of being able to access information, products and services through their smartphones is growing.
In the next two or three years, most mobile phones will have been replaced by smartphones, and NFC technology will already help you to reach a potential pool of millions of smartphone users.
You may have noticed a conspicuous absence in the list above – there is no mention of Apple phones using NFC technology. But given that more smartphones are due to arrive very soon that do allow use of NFC, including:
Nokia Lumia 925,
Samsung Galaxy Mega,
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini,
Sony Xperia L, SP and ZR,
not to mention numerous tablets that are also being developed with NFC capability, it would be very surprising if Apple did not include NFC in its next iPhone. It is rumoured that the iPhone 5S is likely to have NFC technology.
More widespread use of NFC technology will spur people on to make full use of their NFC smartphones which, in turn, will encourage further use of NFC tags in promotional material. Get a head start on the competition and get your business in the NFC business today.