GPS Cellular Forecasts Up, LBS Mergers Loom

Oyster Bay, New York - 18 Apr 2011

ABI Research’s quarterly “Location Systems and Platforms Forecasts” has revealed some interesting trends for GPS and Location-Based Services (LBS) that emerged in the first quarter of 2011.

Smartphone market to drive even stronger GPS growth
ABI Research has raised its 2011 GPS cellular forecasts by more than 20%, as smartphones outperform expectations. GPS efforts are firmly focused on do-or-die wins with Tier One smartphone OEMs. The non-smartphone LBS market will increasingly use alternative location technologies.

Is SUPL 2.0 hot again?
SUPL 1.0 had huge initial success, yet the SUPL 2.0 standard has fallen behind proprietary solutions (as preferred by both Google and Apple) that make better use of alternative location information. Following requests for information on this area, ABI Research has recently re-instated a SUPL handset split in its forecasts.

According to senior analyst Patrick Connolly, “This renewed interest suggests operators are looking to SUPL to regain control of the LBS market. With E911-type regulation expected in other regions, an emerging location analytics market, and SUPL-compliant handset installed bases reaching 50% in some countries, now is as good a time as any to make the move.”

Dog eat dog for GPS IC vendors
Following a significant shift in GPS IC design toward lower processing nodes, GNSS, combo chips and lower power consumption, ABI Research believes that there will be continued upheaval in this market in 2011 as Tier One OEMs switch to new chips and ultimately new suppliers. Despite significant consolidation in the market, the loss of a big contract to a competitor could still be fatal to some companies.

Acquisitions and Mergers
“LBS acquisitions and mergers are back in fashion, with an upsurge in speculation surrounding GPS, mapping, alternative location and location aggregation companies,” adds group director Dominique Bonte. “As always, there is no smoke without fire.”

ABI Research’s “Location Systems and Platforms Forecasts” Market Data provides up-to-date forecasts for all aspects of the GPS, LBS Alternative Location and Navigation markets, across all vertical markets.

It is part of the Location Platforms and Enablers Research Service which also includes another Market Data product, Research Reports, Research Briefs, ABI Insights, ABI Vendor Matrices, and analyst inquiry support.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 30+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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