16 million NFC SIM cards were shipped in 2011, according to the latest annual report from the SIMalliance, a SIM card trade association.
This marks the first time that NFC-enabled SIMs have been shipped in large enough quantities to be included separately in the SIMalliance annual data, according to the organization.
The report also found that demand for the 3FF micro-SIM form factor grew by 63% year on year, while shipments of M2M SMDs (Surface Mounted Devices) grew by a factor of 3 between 2010 and 2011. Western Europe and North America represented the biggest markets for these technologies, as well as China for M2M.
In total, card shipments by SIMalliance member organizations (who together account for approximately 94% of total volumes) were up 11% to 4.4 billion cards in 2011.
“There’s little doubt that the SIM card – whatever its form factor – remains the default security, identity and access device for today’s mobile network operators, and through them, the end-user,” said Frédéric Vasnier, chairman of the Board at SIMalliance. “But it was the emergence of M2M and NFC as significant sectors in 2011 that causes the real excitement. And as these markets move from emerging to maturing, service providers will increasingly be able to realize the incremental value of their SIM card estates.”