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Shipment of GPS-enabled handsets increased by 97%

Posted: 26 Apr 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:handsets? shipment increase? wireless connectivity technologies?

Berg Insight reported an increase of 97 percent of global shipments of GPS-enabled GSM/WCDMA handsets in 2010, which is equivalent to 295 million units. Increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 28.8 percent, the report predicted that the shipment will reach 940 million units in 2015.

According to the report, the attach rates for wireless connectivity technologies in handsets, which include GPS, Bluetooth and WLAN are also increasing steadily as the adoption of smartphones accelerates. These connectivity technologies are already a standard feature on high-end smartphones. Thus, the adoption of GPS and WLAN will also increase rapidly in the medium- and low-end smartphone segments.

"There are numerous compelling use cases for WLAN in mobile phones, ranging from offloading data traffic from increasingly congested mobile networks to media synchronization and hybrid navigation services," said Andr Malm, a senior analyst at Berg Insight.

The report revealed that the attach rate for WLAN connectivity in handsets reached 20 percent in 2010. Berg Insight forecasted shipments of WLAN-enabled handsets to reach 900 million in 2015.

Malm said that "hybrid navigation technologies are necessary to enable reliable positioning indoors. New multimode GPS receivers that also support the Russian GLONASS satellite system are already available in handsets. When using the two systems in combination, more visible satellites will increase the chance to receive sufficiently strong signals to get a fix in urban canyons."

Malm added that further performance increases will come from hybrid location technologies that fuse signal measurements from multiple satellite systems, cellular networks, and WLAN, together with data from various forms of sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, and altimeters.

Starting in the second half of 2011, more handsets supporting the Near Field Communication (NFC) standard for short-range wireless point-to-point communication will also become available. When deployed in mobile phones, NFC can be used for countless applications such as information exchange, electronic ticketing, and mobile payments. Shipments of NFC-enabled handsets are forecasted to increase from less than two million units in 2010 to 400 million units in 2015.

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