Itâ€™s true â€“ smartphones are getting smarter. With the introduction of the iPhone 6 and the new Android phones already on the market, you might have noticed sublimatable covers are few and far between for these phones. In fact, Conde is one of the only distributors selling covers for these phones.
And there is a reason. These new phones offer a feature older phones do not. It is called NFC, â€œNear Field Communicationsâ€ or â€œMobile Purchasingâ€. You have probably heard about it. Rather than drag out a credit card at Starbucks for your $4 latte, you can just wave your phone over a device on the counter and it will automatically dip into your checking account and deduct the appropriate amount or charge it to the credit card of your choice.
The whole concept was actually started by Google a few years ago and frankly, pretty much fell on its face but now that the iPhone and others have built this into their devices, the predictions are that this will produce $118 billion dollars in sales in 2015. This is up from $3.4 billion in 2014 according to eMarketer.
In order for this system to work, the phone or other device must radiate a very weak signal â€“ strong enough to be read by the receiving device but not strong enough that others nearby might be able to pick it up and use it for dastardly purposes. I have read the signal is as weak as 1 millionth of a watt.
Whatever the strength of the signal, it wonâ€™t pass through a sheet of sublimatable metal on the back of the phone which is exactly what we use to sublimate phone covers. This being the case, using a traditional sublimated phone cover would mean sacrificing the ability to make Near Field Communication purchases.
Conde however, has solved this problem by developing a very thin sublimatable plastic that can be mounted on the back of these phones and not interfere with its Near Field Communications ability. To my knowledge, Conde is the only company offering a working solution. Others are working on it to be sure but if you buy a phone cover from another supplier and it has a metal blank, it will block the signal resulting in a very unhappy customer.
By making these new plastic inserts, Conde has inadvertently introduced a great new product to our industry. There will be more about that in future Blogs but to make a long story short, this plastic is also available to purchase in sheets and can be laser cut, cut with a utility knife or even with a rotary engraver. This means we can now make name badges in any shape and size we want, not to mention hundreds of other things we havenâ€™t even thought of yet!
With 10 million IPhone 6 and 6+ phones sold in just one week, there is a huge market for these covers and at least for now, Conde customers have a decisive edge on everyone else because we can offer a quality product that does NOT interfere with Near Field Communications.