Computing Modem Market Buoyed by Tablets as USB Modems Pulled Down by Stagnant PC Installed Base

Oyster Bay, New York - 11 Nov 2015

Mobile broadband modems used in non-smartphone mobile computers, tablets and CE devices are expected to have total shipments drop 8% year-over-year to 50 million units for the full year 2015, according to recently released market data from ABI Research, a leader in technology market research. As portable computing shipments have declined, so have the key aftermarket upgrades. One of the leading accessories for portable computers is the 4G LTE USB modem. Mobile broadband USB modems have not been immune to the PC market contraction.

Read ABI Research’s Mobile Broadband PC Modems & Routers market data report.

“USB modems are the market anomaly because of their exclusive use on traditional computing platforms,” says Jeff Orr, Research Director at ABI Research. “Even though the Windows 10 OS release is breathing new life into an aging laptop installed base, it does not translate into increased investment for mobile broadband.” ABI Research estimates USB modem shipments will decline 13% year-on-year.

Outside of USB, makers of embedded modem modules and mobile hotspot routers remain upbeat about the market potential. A modem module built into a new tablet or 2-in-1 ultraportable PC aligns with the mobile use case of these modern devices. Both consumers and businesses alike can benefit from connecting multiple Wi-Fi-enabled devices to a mobile hotspot router that utilizes a high-speed mobile network for connectivity anywhere, whether in transit or at venues where Wi-Fi is not available. ABI Research further finds that modem modules and mobile hotspot router unit volume will stay roughly flat (+/- 5%) year-over-year while revenues for these modem types will contract 10-15% to drive more interest in mobile broadband adoption.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Mobile Broadband Routers and Modems Research Service, which includes research reports, market data, insights and competitive assessments.

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