Apple to Lead $95B Mobile/Wearable Payments Market by 2018

New research suggests that Apple, helped along by Apple Pay and the Apple Watch, could ultimately come up trumps in a mobile and wearable contactless payments market reaching $95 billion by 2018.

Analysts at Juniper Research have observed that, while this market was worth just under $35 billion last year, its prospects have been boosted by recent developments and greater interest in near-field communications (NFC) technology, which underpins the intuitive payments service Apple Pay.

While the Apple Pay-equipped Apple Watch could obviously help the sector’s development, The Irish Times reports Juniper’s warning that it would take “several years” for wearable tech to reach “critical mass”. The analysts expressed their expectation that, in 2018, wearables would be responsible for only just over 2% of the collective value of non-card contactless payments.

This suggests that, at least for the foreseeable future, it will be NFC-enabled iPhones that primarily drive Apple’s success in this flourishing market. Nonetheless, the convenience of making payments through the Apple Watch should not be underestimated, and could help to drive wider adoption of wearables.

Nitin Bhas, co-author of the Juniper report, observed that “Apple’s entry into NFC gave the industry a much-needed boost, and could well be seen as the tipping point for the technology”.

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