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Tablets and Cameras Next Major GPS and LBS Markets by 2017, Says ABI Research

Despite relatively stunted growth thus far, the tablet and camera markets are forecast to be the next major market for location based services and GPS IC penetration.

ABI Research’s latest Report, “Location Applications for Tablets, eReaders, Digital Cameras & Handheld Gaming,” forecasts the uptake of LBS and how it will affect the adoption of location technologies. The tablet market has largely been dominated by Apple and its GPS/Modem strategy. GPS shipments are forecast to reach 37 million in 2012, yet it is still much less than had been previously anticipated. There has been mixed news of late, with the launch of Google’s Nexus 7 and Apple’s iPad mini. Wi-Fi location is a standard feature across all major tablets and while it is complementary, it does act as a barrier to GPS integration.

Senior analyst Patrick Connolly said, “When we look at the adoption of applications on tablets, it is forecast to largely mirror that of smartphones, with a focus on local search, social, enterprise, navigation, and ambient intelligence.” Android will lead the way, as ubiquitous location becomes a necessary component.

The camera market has huge potential, with geotagging a clear driver. With over 30 GPS-enabled cameras on the market, shipments are expected to break 10 million in 2013, and a second wave of new applications emerging around tracking, Maps/POI, and dead-reckoning. As an industry, there needs to be a complete overhaul of how cameras are designed, to find a way to leverage the photography revolution occurring on smartphones. ABI Research has forecast that this will open the door to GPS, alternative location, and LBS in future.

The launch of the Sony Vita was expected to kick-start the location-based gaming (LBG) industry, featuring Wi-Fi location as standard, and an optional GPS/modem module. Practice director Dominique Bonte said, “Irrespective of limited device sales, location-based gaming and community applications still have fundamental barriers concerning critical mass and where and how the device is used. As a result, LBG is expected to initially flourish on smartphones, with GPS forecast to remain subdued on gaming devices.”

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Location Based Services (http://www.abiresearch.com/research/service/location-enabled-services/) which includes Research Reports, Market Data, and Insights.

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 advises thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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