The global penetration of NFC-enabled smartphones.

Device compatibility with Spring

We estimate that 88 per cent of the UK population has a Spring-compatible device. Here's how we got there.

The NFC functionality of your iPhone will be determined by its generation and the software you are running. This is not an issue with Android, which has native background scanning and will always communicate with Spring.

NFC is available on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but only for payments. They are unable to scan Spring with or without an App.

The iPhones 7, 8, and X also have NFC for payments, but with iOS 11 and an NFC App, they can also read a Spring. There is no need to download an App with iOS 14 because an NFC tag reader is built-in. To read a Spring, you must first open the NFC tag reader from the Control Centre.

The iPhone Xs, Xs Max, Xr, 11, 11 Pro, 12, and 12 Pro have NFC for payments and can read Spring with or without an additional App. These iPhones will read a Spring without launching an app or launching the NFC tag reader. This is known as 'background' NFC tag scanning - it is always on and always looking for a Spring.

It's very unlikely that Apple will add background tag scanning to phones older than the Xs/Xr now that iOS 14 includes a native tag reader. Now 90% of iPhone users have iOS 14.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were the first Apple iPhone models to include NFC technology. However, while NFC in the iPhone 6/6S can be used to make payments, it cannot and will never be used to read a Spring. According to research from 2018, 73% of iPhones in the UK are NFC compatible, and with subsequent sales resulting in the iPhone accounting for 48 percent of the market, we'd estimate 88 percent device compatibility with NFC. According to some estimates, global NFC penetration is at 81% globally.

Spring was designed for current and future technology, so iPhones older than four years when the iPhone X debuted are largely out of our scope. Android will always work this way, and with a conservative estimate of 80% of iPhone devices in use in the UK, not all of the market will be covered in this regard, but when we look at the demographic, most of your target market will have a newer iPhone or an Android device.

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