Shipments of GPS-enabled mobile phones will generate over $50 billion in revenues in 2008, rising to $100 billion in 2012, according to a report by ABI Research. The market for these handsets is expected to grow from around 240 million units in 2008 to over 550 million handset shipments in 2012. At present, most current GPS-enabled handsets are CDMA devices, but increasing numbers of GPS-enabled handsets for 3G/WCDMA networks will start to appear in the market from 2008 onwards.
According to ABI Research industry analyst Shailendra Pandey, "The ongoing consolidation in the mobile industry – including Nokia's acquisition of NAVTEQ, Broadcom's acquisition of Global Locate, CSR's acquisition of NordNav Technologies and Cambridge Positioning Systems, and the tussle between TomTom and Garmin to acquire Tele Atlas – gives a clear indication of the plans and commitment of industry players to address the GPS-enabled handset market."
ABI Research believes that the mobile industry has reached the stage where we can expect to see rapid growth in the GPS-enabled handset market. From cost and technology perspectives, chipset manufacturers now have solutions in place that will allow the integration of GPS in handsets at low cost and provide significant improvements in terms of accuracy, time-to-first-fix, and reception in indoor environments. On the services side, mobile operators and navigation application developers are coming up with attractive LBS offerings. Also, handset vendors are showing greater interest not only in providing GPS-enabled handsets, but also in introducing their own GPS-centric applications and services.
ABI Research expects the market for GPS-enabled handsets to grow strongly in the next five years. In addition to major handset manufacturers such as Nokia, Motorola, RIM and Samsung, smaller Asian ODMs including HTC, Quanta and Inventec are also introducing GPS-enabled devices. The firm's new study "GPS-Enabled Mobile Devices" examines the market landscape and future potential for GPS-enabled mobile phones. It discusses the critical business and marketing issues, as well as the market opportunities and challenges facing handset vendors, mobile operators, semiconductor vendors, and other industry players in addressing the GPS-enabled handset market.