Smartphone device shipments to drive big trend in GPS market
This has always been a niche market, with limited competition. However, Garminâ€™s Outdoor and Fitness division represented 40 percent of the firmâ€™s total 2010 operating income, with fitness watches at the forefront of this growth. This is becoming a very important market, and with the PND market in decline, it will become a vital segment to address for many companies.
Patrick Connolly, senior analyst, said: â€œThe GPS watch market has yet to hit the mainstream, with form factor, pricing and awareness remaining major barriers to uptake. TomTom and Nike are the forerunners of a wave of new design, marketing and retail channels that will help to bring these devices to a wide public and generate significant revenues.â€
The forecast influx of watch, apparel and electronics companies into this space over the next three years will remove these barriers significantly. Meanwhile, the GPS cycle computer and golf caddy markets continue to show growth with a huge untouched installed base to address.
On the mobile front, applications from Nike, Runkeeper, Fullpower, Groundspeak and others have been hugely successful. ABI Research believes that this is only the tip of the iceberg for these applications, with downloads set to increase more than tenfold by 2016. Further, they will help to catalyze the hardware market, driving awareness, uptake and cross-selling.
Dominique Bonte, practice director, said: â€œThe mobile health market is also beginning to take shape, reflected in the recent announcements from Sprint and BodyMedia. This will provide a secondary driver for growth over the next five years.â€
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