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NXP says NFC doesn't need Apple to succeed

Claims it can be used in paper materials
Wed Oct 17 2012, 12:06

AMSTERDAM: CHIPMAKER NXP has touted near field communications (NFC) as a technology that can be used in more than just smartphones and doesn't need Apple's blessing to succeed.

NXP, which owns a number of high value NFC patents and was one of the key partners in the development of the communications standard, said the technology can be used in much more than smartphones. NXP's Alexander Rensink said the firm sees NFC tags appearing in leaflets, magazines and billboards, allowing firms to connect users to social media, all of which should cause the eyes of advertisers and marketeers to widen in interest.

Rensink's comments regarding the wider use of NFC comes as adoption falters despite widespread industry support. Google's Wallet service has yet to take off despite the might of Google, and even Samsung's adoption of the technology in its high-end smartphones has yet to set the world alight.

NXP claimed it supplied NFC chips to eight of the top 10 smartphone vendors, with Apple being the obvious absentee. Rensink wouldn't comment on why Apple has yet to incorporate NFC along with its competitors, but said the technology doesn't need Apple in order to succeed, saying, "Traction is coming from many different angles, not just Apple."

Rensink, when asked whether NFC support is largely a feature that no one uses said, "NFC is not just a tick in the [features] box like Bluetooth." As for whether NFC use had failed to gain momentum, Rensink said, "It is way too early to say the usage of NFC has stalled."

There is little doubt that NXP is sitting pretty with its NFC patents and chips, but despite what Rensink says, it is unlikely to gain momentum in smartphones without Apple incorporating the standard into future Iphones. Not surprisingly, Rensink wouldn't comment on whether this will happen, but until it does even the efforts of Google and Samsung might not be enough to drive NFC adoption. µ


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