Wi-Fi network use will nearly double in homes around the world come 2016, according to Strategy Analytics. Already used in some 439 mln households worldwide, equivalent to 25% of all households, Wi-Fi home network penetration will expand to 42%, reaching nearly 800 mln by 2016.
58% of online consumers currently own a mobile phone capable of connecting to the Web. Of the online consumers with Web-enabled phones, 21% own a smartphone, 8% own an iPhone(TM), and 29% own another type of Web-enabled phone. 42% of PriceGrabber survey respondents said they own a non-Web-enabled phone capable of using voice and text service plans only. iPhone, released on June 29, 2007, jump-started mainstream smartphone adoption, with 75% more online consumers purchasing their first Web-enabled phone in 2007 compared with 2006. Despite the economic climate, 8% of online consumers purchased their first Web-enabled phone in Q1 2009.
10% of online consumers said they purchase online from their mobile device, 16% compare prices and another 16% research product details/specifications. Of the online consumers making purchases from their mobile phones, 58% have purchased digital content for their phone, 51% have purchased consumer electronics, 37% have purchased computers, 36% have purchased books, and 31% have purchased clothing. Smartphone and iPhone owners are comfortable using the mobile Internet to make purchases. 56% of Apple iPhone owners and 28% of smartphone owners already are comparing prices online with their mobile phones. Additionally, 27% of iPhone owners and 35% of smartphone owners anticipate that they will be comparing prices within two years.
Many next-generation LBS applications such as social networking, local search, advertising, and geo-tagging are expected to be used in urban and indoor environments where GPS either underperforms in terms of fix times or accuracy, or fails altogether. So alternative positioning technologies such as Wi-Fi and Cell-ID will become increasingly important. Since no single positioning technology can provide this, the future will be about hybrid positioning systems, combining A-GPS, Cell-ID, Wi-Fi, cellular, motion sensors, and even TV broadcast and proximity technologies such as Bluetooth, NFC and RFID. A-GPS, Wi-Fi and Cell-ID will be the winning combination offering accuracy, availability, interoperability and short fix times at low cost. It will represent 25% of all positioning solutions by 2014. Stand-alone Cell-ID and/or Wi-Fi will remain important in regions with low GPS handset penetration, ABI Research said.
The market opportunity for third-party software written for cellular base stations and other infrastructure will increase by about $1 bln dollars by the middle of 2010, according to ABI Research. In the past, over 95% of the base station bill of materials was hardware, but now they use off-the-shelf hardware and 10% to 20% software.
Managed services for mobile networks returned about $19 bln revenue in 2008, ($5.8 bln for network services and $13.4 bln for IT-related services.) Europe led managed services adoption: Tier One operators there face stiff competition, so they have turned to managed services to improve their margins. According to a new study from ABI Research, that $19 bln figure represents only a small part of the potential addressable market.
Shipment data for the cellular modems used to connect laptops and netbooks to the Internet indicate that more than 35 mln of the devices hit the market in 2008. Of that total, the majority were the external USB modems that mobile operators have been pushing for some time. Continued growth has been bolstered as mobile operators have bundled USB modems with netbooks in attractively subsidized price plans. A further 3.5 mln were embedded modems, built into the computers, ABI Research found.
An ABI Research survey of US smartphone users who installed applications on their devices in 2008, conducted in November 2008, reveals that a surprising 16.5% spent between $100 and $499. That level of spending is especially significant given the low cost of most mobile applications, ranging from as little as a dollar or two at Apple’s iPhone App Store, to at most about $25.
According to Berg Insight, the market for LBS platforms and middleware in Europe will return to growth in the coming years, with demand driven by E112 requirements and increasing adoption of A-GPS. Annual revenues in Europe for mobile location platforms, including A-GPS servers and middleware platforms, are projected to grow from about 17 mln Euros in 2008 to 34 mln Euros in 2014. Mobile operators are now responding by investing in network-based location technologies and new services. Particularly A-GPS will become very important as the installed base of GPS-enabled handsets in Europe is projected to reach 270 mln devices in 2014. Established LBS industry players will however face competition from new market entrants such as handset manufacturers and Internet players such as Google whose primary interest is to attract users for new services. In response the traditional LBS vendors will be compelled to deliver superior performance in close cooperation with mobile network operators.
Sometime late in 2009, the estimated number of mobile small-medium businesses in the world (those with between five and 99 employees who use smartphones when travelling) will pass 200 mln. In some regions, 99% of all businesses are classed as small-medium, according to ABI Research.
Shipments of Wi-Fi-enabled cellular handsets will double in volume by the end of 2010, compared to January 2008, and that growth curve is expected to continue through 2013. While Nokia leads the market in Wi-Fi-enabled handsets due to the sheer volume of its portfolio, Wi-Fi models only represent a small fraction of the range. In contrast, every Apple iPhone has Wi-Fi, and due to its ease of use and the seamless iTunes experience, more iPhone users – as many as 75% — are using their Wi-Fi regularly. Contrasting again, HTC’s handset lineup is 80% Wi-Fi-equipped, but only 10% of its users are employing the Wi-Fi capability.