WELLINGBOROUGH, UKIMS Research projects that the Global Positioning System (GPS) market will be one of the few areas of growth in 2009. This conclusion was drawn in spite of the poor outlook for many semiconductor manufacturers and the fact that share prices have taken a severe hit. In the new report, "WW Market for GPS/GNSS in Portable Devices," the GPS market is forecasted to increase by over $200 million between 2008 and 2009. According to IMS Research Analyst Tom Arran, "2008 was the breakout year for GPS in mobile phones. In 2009, GPS will begin to penetrate into a range of vertical markets, such as cameras, laptops, UMPCs, sporting equipment, and first-responder radios. This will help to drive shipment growth of over 25 percent year over year."

As Arran points out, "OEMs in these markets can use GPS to differentiate their product while also driving new service revenue streams. Furthermore, location is emerging as a key component of future offerings from companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, Nokia, Intel, Mozilla, and Ericsson. This will enable a host of new services across all key vertical markets, which in turn will further drive the uptake of GPS."

Despite a significant increase in revenue in 2009, IMS Research believes that the future holds even more promise. According to Arran, "2009 will not be a booming year for GPS in portable devices. Looking beyond the current economic turbulence, IMS Research is forecasting the overall market for GPS to demonstrate a 21.2 percent CAGR between 2008 and 2013."

"There is still a lot of untapped potential and the GPS market needs to mature before breaking the 500-million-units-per-year barrier. One of the more general issues is poor performance in challenging environments. GPS manufacturers need to start seriously considering hybrid location in their offerings. The report forecasts the uptake of WLAN location in each of these marketsboth as a competitive and complementary technology."

Arran concludes, "The GPS market remains competitive, despite a number of acquisitions by large semiconductor companies. Standalone GPS manufacturers will need to specialize to monetize, as each vertical market requires different hardware considerations. By developing a diverse portfolio of solutions tailored to specific markets, they can spread risk across a number of OEMs in different vertical markets."