Tag: ABI Research

Smartphone chipsets used in wearables compromise user experience

abi researchSmartphone components are being used in smartwatches in lieu of optimised smartwatch components, even when claimed otherwise, according to ABI Research.

Teardowns of a number of devices found that nobody has an optimal wearable peripheral solution yet. The Samsung Galaxy Gear and Z-watch use application processors originally targeted for smartphone/tablets and the uWatch goes a step further by using a full blown GPRS SOC, MediaTek MT6260, but only uses the integrated BT. Other watches such as the Sony series and Pebble use discrete solutions. The end result is less than optimal battery life and unnecessary cost/size that get passed on to the consumer.

“Our findings show the chipset suppliers are playing the ‘wait and see’ game before making investments into wearable peripherals. Of the solutions available the oversized application processors draw too much current and cost far too much. Discrete solutions tend to be physically large and also a little higher cost than necessary. The closest match is the SOCs with embedded BT whichcan be both power and size efficient withthe only drawback being slight cost impact. Once the market takes off expect to see a number of truly optimal solutions available,” said Jim Mielke, Vice President of Engineering at ABI Research.

Attached rate of factory installed car navigation units to rise to 38% in 2019

abi researchOnce a luxury item, embedded in-car navigation systems are now increasingly becoming less expensive and are offered in mass-market cars. At the same time, more and more car navigation units are becoming connected and multi-functional as they converge with other technologies in the car.

The attachment of embedded in-dash factory installed navigation units is expected to increase from 22 percent at the end of 2013 to 38 percent by 2019, according to ABI Reseach. This represents a compounded annual growth rate of 13.6 percent.

“However, this growth will be eclipsed by the number of smartphone-based navigation devices used in the car, particularly off-board devices, where navigation is performed in the cloud as opposed to on the device,” said Gareth Owen, Principal Analyst of ABI Research, which forecasts that shipment of handset-based navigation services will reach 1.68 billion globally by 2019.

China vendors to account for half of global handset sales next year

abi researchThe Red Wave is spreading from China to the rest of the mobile world. Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo may not be the leading names that come to mind when it comes to handset vendors today but their influence is spreading. As it Xiaomi, which is taking East Asia by storm with sellouts every time it puts its phones for sale online.

ABI Research has reported that Chinese handset vendors will account for more than half of mobile handsets in 2015. Chinese vendors already accounted for 38 percent of mobile handset shipments in 2013 and the ongoing shift in growth to low cost handsets, especially smartphones, will increase their market share.

Many oChinese OEMs have focused almost exclusively on the huge Chinese market, with little activity beyond its borders, but this is set to change. Huawei (6th in worldwide market share for 2013) and ZTE (5th) have already made an impact on the world stage, but other Chinese handset OEMs like Lenovo — the Motorola acquisition is a clear statement of intent — and Xiaomi are set to join them.

Ultra-portables grow 100% in 2013

abi researchUltra-portables are becoming increasingly popular, growing 100 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to ABI Research. This translates to 12.3 percent (22.5 million) of notebook PC shipment in 2013 (182.7 million).

“Across 24 countries tracked in November 2013, we found average ultra-portable PC selling prices ranging from US$940 to US$1,540 with the majority of models offered above US$1,200 in each country,” said Jeff Orr, Senior Practice Director of ABI Research. “The ASPs suggest ultra-portables including the convertible and detachable 2-in-1 configurations remained at the high-end of the notebook PC category exiting 2013.”

Beyond Apple’s MacBook Air running MacOS, the bulk of ultra-portable PCs are powered by the Windows 8 operating system, which suffered fits and starts during 2013 due to usability issues and poor first impressions by early adopter audiences. A revision, Windows 8.1, was released in the second half of the year to address these concerns, though popular opinion suggests many considering a refresh to their existing systems are willing to wait for the hiccups to be worked out before making a financial commitment.

IMS deployments to reach US$4b by 2017

abi researchIMS Core Network deployments are edging up as operators put the necessary infrastructure and capacity in place for planned 2014 VoLTE launches, according to ABI Research.

Spending for the core network products (HSS, CSC, Media Controllers and Gateways, MSF, IBCF, SBC and P-CSCF) integral to a functioning IMS network will reach US$4 billion by 2017. “We see increasing IMS Core Network revenues through 2017, after which IMS revenues will flatten and reflect capacity expansion,” said Joe Hoffman, Research Director of ABI Research.

IMS spending for mobile 4G markets follows the LTE deployments, as operators seek to get their network coverage in place, stabilised, and compatible mobiles for VoLTE become available. The leading LTE market, North America, will peak 2015 to 2016, while the largest market, Asia-Pacific shows continued growth into the foreseeable future.

Apple to dominate smartphone-integrated vehicle infotainment market

abi researchApple’s “iOS in the Car” will lead the market for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems equipped with smartphone integration technologies, according to ABI Research.

It predicts that the market will grow substantially during the next five years to reach 35.1 million units globally by 2018. Of these, 49.8 percent will be equipped with Apple’s “iOS in the Car”, 43.6 percent with MirrorLink and 28.2 percent with other technologies.

Developments in the smartphone world are revolutionising consumers’ in-car expectations. Besides Internet connectivity itself, the ability to select apps whenever they choose is probably one of the IVI features that consumers value the most.

Smart watches create big opportunity for flexible displays

abi researchSmart watches may well provide the biggest opportunity for flexible displays in the short term, according to ABI Research.

A number of new smart watch vendors have incorporated some form of flexible display technology to maximise the screen size of the small device. Most of the digital smart watches and other fitness and health wearable devices will incorporate a flexible display over the next 18 months due to the robust and rugged characteristics of the displays.

Furthermore, flexible displays or e-ink displays could be used as secondary displays on smartphones and media tablets. Phablets are predicted to be a key application for secondary displays — it is anticipated that more than six percent of annual phablet shipments could include the display type in 2015.

Android-based tablets taking over the lead

abi researchA shift in leadership is now upon the tablet mobile computing market, observed ABI Research.

At the year’s mid-point, the market intelligence firm has identified a trio of events signalling Apple’s iPad family of products has passed the baton to the Android ecosystem. During Q2, the number of Android-powered tablets surpassed iOS-based slates for the first time, tablet-related hardware revenues reached parity, and perhaps most important, the average selling price (ASP) of iPad is rapidly approaching the market average.

Overall shipments in the quarter dropped 17 percent sequentially while growing 23 percent year-over-year for the same quarterly period. “Smaller 7-inch class tablets are finally the majority of shipments,” says Jeff Off, Senior Practice Director at ABI Research. “The 7.9-inch iPad mini represented about 60 percent of total iPad shipments and 49 percent of iPad-related device revenues in the quarter.”

Local smartphone makers best Apple in China market

abi researchTo most people around the world, Coolpad, Lenovo and Xiaomi don’t quite ring a bell when it comes to smartphones. But, in China, these three Chinese smartphone OEMs outsold Apple in Q2, according to ABI Research.

Only Samsung managed to hold its own but snaring a 17 percent market share. Lenovo was next with 13 percent, Coolpad with 10 percent and Xiaomi edged out Apple with 6.5 percent.

“Even though these OEMs are only selling into the Chinese market, the size of the market has allowed them to achieve shipment volumes that place these OEMs in the top 12 globally. It is not hard to imagine these OEMs as global competitors within the next two years,” said Michael Morgan, Senior Analyst of ABI Research.

Android mobile app revenue to hit US$6.8b this year

AndroidAndroid’s smartphone mobile app revenues are projected to reach almost US$6.8 billion by the end of 2013, nearly doubling its revenues from the previous year, according to ABI Research.

The Android platform has some way to go before catching iOS’s smartphone revenues but the smartphone app market will be Android’s most fruitful hunting ground compared to other devices.

ABI Research estimates that Android smartphone app revenues will increase from 59.1 percent to 65.9 percent when compared to iOS smartphone app revenues over the next 12 months.

Samsung tops ABI Research’s tablet competitive assessment

abi researchKorean giant Samsung has nudged aside all competition in ABI Research’s assessment of 19 top tablets.

The  competitive assessment ranked companies on several criteria related to both product implementation and vendor innovation.

Samsung bested all other tablet vendors in the innovation category while scoring second overall in the implementation category. Clearly king of the hill when it comes to tablet shipment volumes, Apple trailed Samsung on tablet Innovation landing in second.

Samsung dominates almost every device price point

abi researchSamsung has a device for every price point, giving it leadership in all, bar one category — the high end where it faces Apple.

According to ABI Research’s Device Portal sales channel analysis, the balance of power remains with Samsung/Android and Apple and looks set to remain so in the foreseeable future.

“This leaves little room for the other vendors to compete, especially the other Android vendors and those using uncompetitive operating system ecosystems. Despite some carrier’s efforts to create a more balanced smartphone device vendor industry with their use of subsidy, ultimately they are obliged to fulfill consumer demand and at the moment that means Samsung/Android and Apple,” said Nick Spencer, Senior Practice Director of ABI Research.

Sensors and gesture recognition are major smartphone differentiators

abi researchAccelerometers, vision-based gesture recognition, gyroscopes, and NFC are predicted to be the feature set big winners in smartphones in 2013, according to ABI Research.

“Gesture recognition is soon going to become a key differentiator in high-end flagship smartphones. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S4 has already incorporated the technology within its handset and has received significant plaudits for its new innovative user experience. Today’s consumers are becoming much savvier with their smartphones and they’re looking for new interesting ways to communicate with each other and their devices,” said Joshua Flood, Senior Analyst of ABI Research.

In 2013, almost 12 percent of smartphones shipped will have vision-based gesture recognition capabilities. It is unsure if Apple will include the technology in its next generation iPhone but the company is expected to include a full array of MEMS sensors and NFC.

LTE to deliver US$74b in service revenue in 2013

abi researchOut of 470 LTE commitments tracked by ABI Research, 193 have gone commercial. Over the next two years, another 123 network commitments are expected to do likewise. Additionally, ABI Research is currently tracking 69 LTE-TDD commitments.

“By 2018, LTE deployments should deliver population coverage of 57 percent (4.2 billion) and 31 percent (2.3 billion) in legacy WCDMA and CDMA2000 markets respectively. Significantly, LTE-TDD coverage should achieve 49 percent population coverage by the end of the five year period,” said Jake Saunders, Vice President – Core Forecasting at ABI Research.

These coverage targets will be driven by macrocells and small cells. By 2018, the number of LTE macrocell base stations will reach 2.43m to achieve the population coverage targets. Small cells are an integral part of the LTE operator’s network strategy. As a result, ABI Research estimates that 18,000 LTE outdoor small cells will ship in 2013, and will expand to 986,000 by 2018.