NEW YORK--()--A substantial majority of cellular modems purchased as add-ons to portable and mobile computing devices have traditionally been bought by businesses to equip their mobile workforces. But according to a new study from ABI Research, in 2010 51% of these modems – mostly the USB form factor – will ship into the consumer segment. By 2014 that percentage is expected to rise to 63%.
“The decline in mobile broadband modem sales to business and the rapid growth of the consumer segment have several causes”
“The decline in mobile broadband modem sales to business and the rapid growth of the consumer segment have several causes,” says senior analyst Jeff Orr. “The overall economic climate has put a crimp in business spending and lengthened equipment replacement cycles. At the same time the explosion in consumer demand for mobility, fueled in large part by the popularity of netbooks, has pushed up consumers’ interest.”
The popularity of the USB form factor, which has all but eclipsed the older PCMCIA and CardBus formats, has also influenced consumer adoption with its compact size and ease of installation. Modestly declining modem prices have also boosted sales.
Although new mobile computing products will increasingly feature embedded modem modules, penetration will remain slow in the near-term: ABI Research believes that in 2009 less than 5% of laptops and netbooks have embedded modems. However over the long-term, the attachment rates will reach significant levels. In 2014, 48% of laptops and netbooks shipping will include 3G or 4G data connectivity.
Another factor will shape the market in the mid-term, says Orr. “In 2011 and 2012 we will see the first significant nationwide access to mobile WiMAX and LTE networks in multiple geographic regions. That will create demand to upgrade to compatible modems, breathing new life into the market.”
ABI Research’s new “Cellular Modems and Mobile Broadband Connectivity” (http://www.abiresearch.com/research/1003049) examines the market for mobile broadband modems that provide WWAN connectivity to broadband routers and mobile computers, including laptops and netbooks. It provides analysis of market dynamics that influence, drive and inhibit the adoption and growth of PCMCIA cards, USB modems and embedded modules, including shipment and revenue data and forecasts.
It is a component of the Cellular PC Modems Research Service (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Cellular_PC_Modems_Research_Service) which also contains Research Briefs, Market Data, an ABI Vendor Matrix, ABI Insights, 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 advise thousands of decision makers through 27 research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.