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Deloitte-Mobile-Owners-Use-of-NFC-Tech-Nov2013The percentage of mobile phone owners in the US who say their device has near-field communications (NFC) technology has doubled since last year, according to new survey data out from Deloitte. But, even given that growth, just 1 in 10 respondents say their phone has NFC capabilities, with 62% saying it doesn’t and 28% saying they don’t know. Of those who have the technology, about one-third said they used the capability in the past month – meaning that only about 1 in every 30 mobile phone owners in the US claims to have recently used NFC technology.

Of course, Apple isn’t doing proponents of NFC any favors by not equipping the iPhone with the technology. (That removes 40% of the smartphone market by itself.)

Nevertheless, the study results demonstrate a fairly significant gender disparity when it comes to both having – and using – the technology. Male respondents to the survey were about twice as likely as female respondents (13% and 7%, respectively) to claim that their mobile phone has NFC technology. And of those who have it, 39% of males said they had used it in the prior month, compared to 26% of females. Put that all together, and about 5% of male mobile phone owners report having recently used NFC capability, compared to a little less than 2% of female mobile owners.

Separately, the survey results indicate that mobile users may have reached a saturation point when it comes to application downloads and spending. This year’s “Global Mobile Consumer Survey” finds that US tablet owners claim to typically download an average 2.3 apps per month, down from 2.7 last year. Similarly, smartphone users are now typically downloading an average of 2.4 apps per month, down from last year’s 3.1. The study authors believe that this downswing is due to users likely having “already obtained the core apps they prefer for work and play.”

Meanwhile, smartphone owners now report spending an average of $1.72 per month on apps and other downloadable content. That’s about half of last year’s $3.51 average.

The relative decline has been less pronounced among tablet owners, but is still there: this year they claim an average spend of $1.29 on apps and other downloadable content, compared to last year’s $1.75.

About the Data: The NFC data is based on 1,752 respondents.

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