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Android leads booming location based services market, study says

Jul 19, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

IE Market Research Corporation (IEMR) released a report projecting that the global market for GPS navigation and location-based services (LBS) will rise by 51.3 percent through 2014 to $13.4 billion, and will be led by Android. Meanwhile, location-enabled search and advertising will see the biggest growth in market spending, growing at 131 percent by 2014, says IEMR.

According to Vancouver, British Columbia-based IEMR, the key driver of location-based services is the fast growth of GPS devices. GPS was available in 40 percent of cellular handsets shipped globally in 2009, the research firm says.

Starting from $1.6 billion in 2009, the total addressable global market for GPS navigation and LBS services is projected to rise by a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 51.3 percent to $13.4 billion in 2014, says the research firm.

In addition to the growing availablity of GPS on mobile devices (such as the Linux-based Garmin-Asus Nuvifone G60, pictured at right) the growth of LBS applications is driving the technology, says IEMR. Here, the profusion of LBS apps running on Android is leading the way, says the research firm.

"Android location-based services applications are beginning to get consumers used to the convenience offered by portable GPS," stated Nizar Assanie, vice president (Research) at IEMR.

LBS search and advertising apps lead the way

Location-enabled search and advertising will see the biggest growth in terms of market spending, growing from $207.3 million in 2009 to reach $5.9 billion in 2014, says IEMR. This is said to represent a CAGR of 131 percent over the next five years.

LBS search and advertising apps will supplant voice-guided in-car navigation as the main use for GPS/LBS applications in the next several years, says the research firm. By 2014, IEMR projects there will be 780 million unique users of LBS search and advertising software, with 15.6 billion click-throughs. The "cost per click" to advertisers in this segment will decline only marginally over the next five years, from $0.42 in 2009 to $0.38 in 2014, says IEMR.

In other findings, voice-guided automobile GPS navigation users will rise to 61 million users in 2014, with total spending rising to $3 billion, projects IEMR. However, monthly ARPUs (average revenue per unit) in the segment will drop from $5.90 in 2009 to $4.16 in 2014, says the firm.

Regional findings in the study are said to include the following:

  • The North American (Canada and the U.S.) GPS/LBS market will rise to $4.3 billion in 2014, accounting for 32.4 percent of the world market share.
  • The South and Central America GPS/LBS market will rise to $320 million, representing a CAGR of 43.2 percent for about 2.4 percent of the world market share, with Brazil out front, followed by Mexico.
  • The Eastern Europe GPS/LBS market will rise to $325 million in 2014, for a CAGR of 70.6 percent and 2.4 percent of the global share, with Russia leading the way. (Western Europe is said to be included separately in the study, but results were not available.)
  • The Asia-Pacific GPS/LBS market will rise to $3.16 billion in 2014, representing a CAGR of 50.7 percent, for 23.6 percent share, with Japan representing the largest share.
  • The Middle East and Africa GPS/LBS market will rise to $248.7 million in 2014, a CAGR of 67.5 percent, for 1.9 percent share, with Turkey leading the way.

IEMR's "3Q.2010 Global GPS Navigation and Location Based Services Market Forecast, 2010 — 2014" is said to be based on the research firm's Global Consumer Telecommunications Survey. The survey covers 50,000 mobile users in 50 global markets, and "is the most extensive country-specific forecast of its kind," claims IEMR. The GPS and LBS forecast provides annual estimates of LBS users, ARPU, total spending, and other metrics through 2014 for 48 countries and six global regions, says IEMR.

Forecasts are said to be broken down by country and region for LBS categories including:

  • Voice-guided in-car navigation
  • Voice-guided pedestrian navigation
  • Mobile maps
  • Mobile maps applications (weather, restaurant guides, traffic, etc.)
  • People tracking
  • Tracking and tracing (commercial applications)
  • Location-enabled search and advertising'
  • Other LBS apps (e.g. proximity-based actuation and notification)

According to research firm iSuppli last September, by 2014 there will be 305 million GPS-enabled smartphones in use, almost three times the installed base of dedicated portable navigation devices. At the same time, a Strategy Analytics study showed 2009 GPS-enabled smartphone shipments growing by 34 percent compared to 2008.


IEMR's "3Q.2010 Global GPS Navigation and Location Based Services Market Forecast, 2010 — 2014" is available now for $2,995 (U.S.), or $7,485 for a multi-copy license, says the research firm.

The report includes a PowerPoint presentation and an audio conference with David Williams, an Independent Contributing Analyst at IEMR, says the research firm. Williams is said to be CEO of consulting firm E-911 LBS Globe, as well as a former Product Manager for LBS Solutions at AT&T.

More information may be available here.

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