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Java Smart Cards Rule in Mobile Market
Java Smart Cards Rule in Mobile Market

(April 21, 2003) - The JavaCard platform is dominating the smart card field for high-end banking and mobile telecom applications, according to an annual analysis from Schlumberger Smart Cards and Terminals. The report says the JavaCard platform's popularity is driven by interoperability needs of operators, and the innovative use of plastic in the banking sector.

Schlumberger he "write once, run anywhere" Java model is now truly established in the mobile communications arena, the largest application sector for smart cards. Thanks to their interoperability and the durability of applications ensured by upward compatibility, Java cards already account for virtually 100% of the high-end SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) market, and approach half of all SIM shipments. In 2003, Schlumberger expects Java cards to account for over half of all shipments for the first time, rising to two-thirds of the market in 2005.

Looking at general trends in smart cards, Schlumberger, which describes itself as the world's leading provider of microprocessor cards, found cause for optimism in the market, and for Java cards in particular. After a year treading water, shipment rates of microprocessor cards surged back with a 13% rise in 2002.

In mobile communications, the SIM remains the essential operator-subscriber link. Subscriber churn, and major expansion in China, India, and Latin America, all contributed to a return to steady growth for SIMs for mobile communications.

Schlumberger believes there will be no return to the dramatic growth rates of the past in 2003. But it predicts growth rates for the number of units of approximately 7% this year, and well over 10% for the next two years, with annual shipments exceeding 500 million for the first time in 2004.

"As wireless technology begins to pervade communications at work, at home and on the move, the secure, portable and programmable attributes of smart card-based identification provide the vital component that will allow the technology to be used conveniently and effectively in all segments and across various wireless technologies," said Olivier Piou, president, Schlumberger Smart Cards and Terminals.

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