Japan’s NFC Device Rollout Tops 20 Million, Though Still Few Places for Consumers to Use Them

Japan’s rollout of phones and tablets supporting standard NFC technology has topped the 20 million mark, with Japan’s three major mobile operators deploying the handsets with NFC chips along with domestic FeliCa technology. But Japanese consumers still have few places to use the hybrid devices.

The Mobile NFC Association released the figures, showing Japanese telcos NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank Mobile had deployed just over 20.5 million phones and tablets through August 2014, since early 2012, adding nearly seven million more handsets with NFC technology between January and August of this year. The list includes such high-end devices as the Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, Sony Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z Ultra and LG G2, along with devices from Japanese suppliers Sharp, Fujitsu and Kyrocera. 

In all, there are 86 smartphones and tablets available from the three telcos, up from 70 models the association had reported early this year. KDDI was the first to introduce a device with standard NFC technology–supporting types A and B of the international contactless standard, ISO/IEC 14443– in January of 2012, said the association. Japan’s largest telco, DoCoMo, began selling NFC-enabled phones in late 2012. 

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