GPS Business News: According to IMS Research, the GPS chipset market capped 300 million units in 2009. The research firm also published an optimistic outlook for the GPS chipset market in 2010 in their recently released quarterly tracker.
Tom Arran, a research analyst working on the service, explained “2009 has been a year of tremendous fluctuations. The start of the year had shipments into some verticals at record lows, for example year-on-year shipments into the PND market had fallen 41% due to inventory issues apparent in the market.”
“Clearly the latter half of 2009 demonstrates that the majority of the GPS market has overcome the downturn. In 4Q09 the cellular market for GPS ICs had 91% year-on-year volume growth with IMS Research estimating strong increases across the board particularly from companies such as Texas Instruments and ST Ericsson. Our initial forecasts for the first half of 2010 are expecting further market expansion, in particular digital cameras and notebooks are moving to the next phase of growth.”
For the cellular market alone, shipments of GPS chips in 2009 have breached the 200 million barrier for the first time. 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”, explained IMS Research Director Patrick Connolly in another report that went out a few weeks ago.
In this report he also forecasts that a major second round of design wins will occur in 2010, which will dictate which GPS manufacturer 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 such as 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 average selling prices through new design approaches, in an attempt to gain large design wins from competitors.”
While GPS remains a dominating technology, others are emerging such as WLAN positioning. IMS Research 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.
“Clearly, there will be a huge installed base of devices capable of supporting applications built around WLAN location technology”, said Connolly. “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”.