16 million NFC SIM cards were shipped in 2011, according to the SIMAlliance, the SIM card's industry body. Accroding to the organisation, this is the first time that NFC SIMs have reached sufficient volumes to be included separately in its data.
Demand for the 3FF micro-SIM form factor (used primarily in tablets) grew by 63% year on year, while shipments of machine to machine SMD (Surface Mounted Device) cards grew by a factor of four between 2010 and 2011. Western European and North American destinations dominate for these cards as well as China for m2m.
Frédéric Vasnier, Chairman of the Board, SIMalliance said: “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. But it was the emergence of M2M and NFC communications 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.”