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EE Times: Smart card chips advance as market stalls

Junko Yoshia reports from the Cartes 2002 show in Paris.

Hampered by the market saturation of prepaid telephone cards and by serious delays in Europe’s third-generation mobile-phone rollout, smart cards are fast losing their 1990s glow of consistent double-digit annual growth, according to attendees at the Cartes 2002 smart-card conference here this week.

Even sales for so-called multiapplication smart cards, supposedly a key driver for advanced cards with bigger memories and more processing power, have been disappointing, said Jorgen Rasmussen, president of cards at SchlumbergerSema, a business unit of Schlumberger Ltd. “There was a lot of hype in multiapplication cards,” he said, acknowledging that making a business case for them has been hard.

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