Sony Corporation today announced that cumulative shipments of its FeliCa contactless integrated circuit (IC) chips have reached 200 million units, as of March 2007.
Sony commenced shipments of FeliCa IC cards in 1996, and has since shipped approximately 160 million chips for use in FeliCa-based cards such as "Suica" and "Edy", and over 40 million "Mobile FeilCa" IC chips used in "Osaifu-Keitai" mobile phones with electronic money functions.
Sony achieved cumulative shipments of 100 million FeliCa units within approximately 10 years of launch. Since then, FeliCa shipments reached the 200 million unit mark in just 18 months. The immediate popularity of Osaifu-Keitai mobile phones (launched in summer 2004), and rapid expansion of services such as automatic payment for public transportation systems and electronic money settlement have made major contributions to this growth.
The range of applications for FeliCa continues to increase, with various service providers offering easy, convenient and secure FeliCa-based applications. These include payment for public transportation, electronic money, credit transactions, employee ID, membership cards and point cards - all of which can be used simply by passing a card or mobile phone over a reader/writer. Going forward Sony will also seek to establish FeliCa within industries such as entertainment, dining and sports to extend FeliCa's unique brand of convenience and enjoyment among the widest possible user base.