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Fortunes to Be Made and Lost in 2010 Cellular Location Market

19 апреля 2010

The GPS and LBS markets are now entering a new phase of development, where potential fortunes could be made and lost. 2010 will define who is serious about location and who may go on to see long term success.

According to a new report from IMS Research, the LBS market is now moving to the next stage of development. Research Director Patrick Connolly stated, "Location services such as social networking, mobile advertising, tracking and pedestrian navigation are beginning to evolve from the initial conceptual phase into something that can stimulate interest and potentially revenues. We are now at a point where the significant mobile companies, such as Nokia, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple and Microsoft are both developing and acquiring around location, mapping and advertising in what appears to be an arms race towards supporting location based advertising. The next phase for these companies will be to look at the services and applications that they can offer through developer partnerships and acquisitions. This will create huge opportunities for innovative companies, while also threatening the current incumbents. IMS Research expects to see a string of similar announcements and acquisitions in 2010".

A key enabler will be the development of a significant critical mass of users. Shipments of GPS chips in 2009 have breached the 200m barrier for the first time. In another first, non-CDMA GPS handset shipments have overtaken the more established CDMA GPS market. "North American GPS penetration is already above 70%, which has already driven a range of innovative services and LBS success stories. This market is now becoming the template for other regions to follow".

Looking at ways for developers to differentiate, IMS Research believes the advent of pedestrian applications and local search will bring alternative location technologies to prominence. IMS Research's report estimates that over 50 million WLAN location clients were installed on handsets in 2009, with penetration rates expected to exceed 80% of all WLAN enabled handsets in 2014. Connolly went on to say, "Clearly, there will be a huge installed base of devices capable of supporting applications built around WLAN location technology. Similarly, sensors have received a new lease of life in the location industry in 2009, evolving from initial dead-reckoning approaches to support intriguing applications such as augmented reality. There is huge potential to differentiate and develop high-end monetizeable applications around GPS and sensors, that doesn't focus solely on dead reckoning".

Focusing purely on the GPS aspect of the market, it is clear that a major second round of design wins will occur in 2010, which will dictate who will be successful in 2011 and beyond. Within this market, IMS Research estimates that leading GPS manufacturers have achieved much of their success through one handset OEM/platform e.g. TI and Nokia, Broadcom/Infineon and Apple, CSR and RiM, Seiko-Epson and NTT DoCoMo. This may create a very competitive environment in 2010, with manufacturers reducing ASPs through new design approaches, in an attempt to gain large design wins from competitors.

Clearly, there are opportunities at every level of the market. the companies that can identify where the market is going over the next 2/3 years stand to become very successful.

Источник: Cellular news

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