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2008 Cellular GPS Market Set to Overshadow PND Shipments

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Note -- this news article is more than a year old.

A bumper Christmas market is set to make GPS the hottest new feature in the cellular market. Taking the huge CDMA GPS market aside, GPS enabled handsets are set to greatly outnumber PND shipments in 2008.

In its latest report, IMS Research also forecasts that non-CDMA handset shipments will treble in 2008 compared to the previous year.

Patrick Connolly, GPS Research Director, stated, "We believe the market will almost treble on 2007, with a range of handsets across all tiers. Nokia, RIM and Apple will lead the way this year, but other handset vendors, such as Sony-Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung, LG and a plethora of smaller Asian manufacturers are driving this market from both ends."

As outlined in the report, a previously fragmented market is now pulling in the same direction. Advertising is increasing, GPS ASPs are falling, operators are supporting/packaging LBS services, cellular platforms are opening up and the number of LBS application developers is increasing many times over. Connolly added, "IMS Research's GPS IC Tracking Service is showing extremely strong YoY growth for shipments into cellular."

While cellular shipments are set to outweigh PND forecasts for 2008, IMS Research believes that talk of a saturating PND market are premature. "Despite the huge success of PNDs, there is still a comparatively small installed base of users, leaving plenty of market upside. Both of these markets will continue to grow concurrently in the medium term, but importantly, they are not independent. Already, companies such as NiM, Telmap and TeleNav are seeing increasing subscription numbers for their cellular sat-nav services. Clearly this is at the expense of the PND market.

Looking at the PND market, a number of new features are coming on stream, with the aim of driving new and replacement markets while also reducing price erosion. These include connectivity, dynamic traffic, speech I/O, hybrid PNDs, 3D mapping, mobile-TV, etc. IMS Research's report, "The Worldwide Market for PNDs", investigates the effectiveness of each of these approaches, with supporting forecasts split by new and replacement shipments.

The report also investigates how the competing devices for in-car navigation will eventually impact each other. Connolly concluded, "GPS is becoming ubiquitous across a range of portable devices. There are a limited number of drivers in the world, and despite what some predictions indicate, all these markets cannot continue growing forever. Towards the backend of the forecast period, they will both encroach and converge, forming a very different and interesting market".

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