buy metformin online

NFC Smartphone Chip Shipments in 2012 Surge Past Projections

NXP Semiconductors shipped 125 million NFC chips in 2012 for smartphones and tablets, the chip maker told NFC Times, beating projections for the NFC device market.

NXP estimated competing chip makers shipped another 25 million NFC chips for smartphones and tablets in 2012. If true, the combined chip shipments would translate into shipments of about 150 million NFC-enabled smartphones and tablets for 2012 and represent more than 15% of total smartphone shipments estimated for the year.

Previous projections from analysts had placed NFC smartphone shipments at around 100 million for 2012 from all suppliers. The total NFC device market in 2011, its first significant year, was about 40 million smartphones.

“Those (smartphone) markets grew more quickly than we expected, subsequently the number of NFC devices were also up,” John Devlin UK-based practice director for security and ID at U.S.-based ABI Research, told NFC Times. “NFC inclusion by a number of manufacturers, most notably Samsung, was above what we originally expected at the beginning of the year.”

The firm had projected shipments of 102 million NFC phones for 2012, a forecast it had raised in the fall, up from an earlier projection of 80 million phones. The 100 million projection represented the rough consensus of analyst opinion in general. Devlin believes the true shipment figure for 2012 will be closer to 135 million than 150 million NFC-enabled phones and tablets. 

ABI will probably raise its forecast of 250 million NFC-enabled phones and tablets for 2013 by 15% to 25%, he added.

NXP dominated the market for NFC chips in 2012, fueled by its supply of NFC technology to Android device makers, especially Samsung Electronics. Samsung in mid-January announced it had shipped more than 40 million Galaxy S III smartphones, nearly all of them during the second half of 2012. All carried NFC chips from NXP, stacked with the chip maker’s embedded secure element.

NXP also said it increased its design wins for NFC devices to 250 models, up from around 200 design wins the Netherlands-based semiconductor supplier had announced at the end of the third quarter.

Of the 250 models, 180 are in production, said NXP. Among recently unveiled devices are new flagship phones from HTC, the One; and Sony, the Xperia Z. Both carry NXP’s PN65 chip, the NFC controller stacked with an embedded secure element, said NXP, which was showing the phones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week.

Taiwan-based device maker Acer also introduced its flagship Liquid E1, last month, which only has the NFC controller from NXP, not an embedded chip, Acer told NFC Times.

The 180 NFC devices in production compares with a little more than 100 that had been in production when NXP released its design-win figure of 200 in October.

More Competition Ahead
But NXP will see more competition this year from such major smartphone chip suppliers as Broadcom, Qualcomm and MediaTek.

Broadcom already began shipping its standalone NFC controller, the BCM20793, in 2012 for two Nexus devices from Google–the Nexus 4 smartphone, which is manufactured for Google by LG Electronics; and Nexus 10 tablet, made for Google by Samsung. Google released both devices in November and included embedded chips supplied by STMicroelectronics with a chip operating system from France-based Oberthur Technologies.

The Broadcom chip is also part of recently announced Android Galaxy smartphones from Samsung, the upgraded version of the Samsung Galaxy Grand, and NFC versions of the Galaxy S II Plus and Galaxy Fame. Nintendo also put the Broadcom chip in its Wii U GamePad.

Besides NXP and Broadcom, France-based Inside Secure shipped NFC chips for global phone markets in 2012. But Inside saw NFC revenue fall along with the fortunes of the major customer for its chips, Research In Motion.

BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion, shipped a total of 34.2 million devices in 2012, according to U.S.-based research firm Gartner, down from 51.5 million in 2011.

But NFC was only available in about six or seven models in 2012, all or most of which were released in 2011. Inside also supplied NFC chips for Nokia’s first NFC-enabled Windows Phone, the Lumia 610, last year, but revenue was not significant, according to the vendor. NXP got the contract to supply NFC technology for Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 devices.

Inside didn’t release its 2012 NFC chip volume shipments in its year-end earnings report Wednesday or conference call with financial analysts Thursday. It reported sales of $43.3 million for its mobile NFC business unit, down by 10% from 2011.

Inside had said it shipped about 17 million NFC chips in 2011.

Broadcom also declined to release its NFC chip shipments for 2012, but the total would have been relatively small.

Based in part on supply problems, Google only sold fewer than 400,000 of the Nexus 4s, according to the XDA Developers site, whose forum members used serial numbers on the devices to calculate sales. There were no reliable estimates released for shipments of the 10-inch Nexus 10 tablet last year.

It’s not clear whether Broadcom shipped any of the NFC chips for the three Samsung Galaxy devices during 2012.

Broadcom president and CEO Scott McGregor told financial analysts in January, following release of the chip maker’s Q4 and year-end earnings report, that Broadcom had more than 20 customers for its NFC chips and predicted the company would “gain meaningful double-digit market share in NFC this year.”

Google also incorporated an NFC software stack from Broadcom in the latest version of its Android operating system, 4.2, the second version of Jelly Bean, a move announced by Broadcom in November. NXP had provided the stack before.

While other chip makers, such as NXP, could supply NFC chips to work with the Broadcom stack, it remains to be seen which chip the devices running 4.2 will use, including the forthcoming Galaxy S4 from Samsung.

Broadcom in December unveiled a second NFC chip, which will be incorporated in a quad-combo wireless chip, combining NFC with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM radio. Broadcom is the largest supplier of short-range wireless chips to smartphone makers. McGregor predicted that the combo chip would be included in mobile handsets that ship this summer.

“The confidence is coming from a fairly large number of customers that we’re working with, who have designed our products into their products, and we expect to ramp over the course of the year,” McGregor said, responding to a question from an analyst during a conference call in January. “We’ve also partnered with Google and are working with them closely on NFC on the Google Wallet and other products.”

Steve Owen, senior vice president of global sales for NXP’s Identification division, which includes NXP’s NFC chips, noted that Google often changes technology vendors to avoid becoming too dependent on particular suppliers. And he acknowledged that device makers are also looking for more choice of suppliers as the NFC market expands.

But he contends that Google stayed with NXP NFC technology for “five generation of products,” apparently referring to previous versions of Android–much longer than expected. And he noted that NXP continues to get design wins for the latest Android smartphones, despite the increased competition.

“They’re (Broadcom) very, very good at marketing; they’re very good at PR, and they’ve aggressively announced they’re entering a market,” Owen told NFC Times. “They’re a very good company. But we are working with all the OEMs (device makers) in the marketplace today.”

In response, a Broadcom spokeswoman noted the announcement of adoption by Google of the Broadcom NFC stack for Android was only made in November.

“You’ll continue to see Broadcom NFC technology in Android-based phones as new products with Jelly Bean 4.2 OS are shipped this year,” she told NFC Times.

Other large suppliers of processor and short-range wireless chips to smartphone makers plan to get into the NFC market this year with standalone NFC chips integrated with their processors.

Qualcomm, the largest supplier of smartphone processors said in December it could begin shipping a standalone NFC chip in volume to device makers by the third quarter of 2013.

Taiwan-based MediaTek, which ranked in the top three processor chip makers for smartphones last year, predicted it would begin shipping its NFC chip commercially in the second quarter.

HEADLINE NEWS

Amid High-Profile Win with Apple, NXP Quietly Loses NFC Business for Samsung’s Galaxy Handsets

NFC Times Exclusive: While NXP Semiconductors won the coveted contract to supply NFC chips and secure elements to Apple for its new iPhone models, it has been cut out of the recent business for Samsung Galaxy handsets, including the Note 4.

NFC Booster Chip in New iPhones One Key to Apple Pay Performance, Though Not Yet Standardized

NFC Times Exclusive: In what is believed to be one of the first uses for NFC booster technology in NFC phones, the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus feature an amplifier chip enabling a unique antenna design by Apple for its Apple Pay service that launched Monday.

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.

Apple to Launch Payments Service on Monday in U.S., Shuns Support for NFC in Tablets

Oct 17 2014 (All day)

Apple’s new tablets, the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, unveiled today, will support the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to enable users to make purchases in apps with Apple Pay, but not in stores with NFC.

Despite NFC-Enabled iPhone and Watch, Hotels Appear to be Opting for BLE for Phone-Based Door Keys

NFC Times Exclusive: Several hotel chains are planning to start equipping certain properties with door locks supporting Bluetooth low energy by the early part of next year, or are seriously investigating the technology, which enables guests to enter their rooms with keys stored on their smartphones, Legic Identsystems, one of the technology vendors involved, told NFC Times.

China UnionPay Reportedly Strikes Deal with Samsung to Use Embedded Chips

Oct 9 2014 (All day)

Samsung Electronics reportedly says it has an agreement with payment network China UnionPay that would enable embedded chips in more than 3 million of its devices in China with China UnionPay’s contactless-payments service, though no banks have yet been mentioned as issuers.

NFC Forum Launches ‘Tap Into NFC’ Developer Program, Though Apple’s Platform Remains Closed

As the NFC Forum launches a new program to attract more application developers to the NFC ecosystem, the organization told NFC Times that it is encouraged by Apple’s adoption but considers it likely that the NFC developer community will focus on Android for the near future.

Taiwanese Telco Launches NFC; Implementation Issues with Mifare Limits Handset Models

Oct 2 2014 (All day)

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan’s largest telco, Chunghwa Telecom, Wednesday announced the launch of its long-planned NFC commercial service, enabling MasterCard PayPass credit cards from four banks, along with one of the first mobile NFC services supporting a Mifare transit purse, EasyCard.

Taiwan’s No. 1 Telco Prepares to Announce NFC Commercial Launch

Oct 1 2014 (All day)

Taiwan’s largest mobile operator, Chunghwa Telecom, will announce the small commercial launch of NFC service on Wednesday, with participation from MasterCard Worldwide, four major banks and the island nation’s largest transit and retail e-purse, EasyCard, NFC Times has learned.

People on the Move: Visa Europe’s Director of Mobile Joins Apple

Apple has hired Visa Europe’s director of mobile, Mary Carol Harris, as the tech giant gears up for its expected launch of Apple Pay in Europe later next year.

Makers of NFC Accessories Targeting iPhone Contend Their Market is Not Lost

NFC Times Exclusive: Despite the announcement by Apple of its first NFC-enabled iPhone, released Friday, promoters of NFC-enabled attachments targeting the iPhone contend they will not lose business.

NFC Forum Adds Long-Awaited Analog Testing to Its Device Certification Program

The NFC Forum has added the final major component to its device certification with the addition of analog testing, but the impact of the development on handset makers’ willingness to submit their devices for certification remains to be seen.