GPS/GNSS IC market on course to break $2 billion in 2012

December 03, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
​The GNSS IC market is showing steady revenue growth in 2012, with the industry now setting its sights on the next major milestone: $3 billion.

The smartphone market remains over 70% of revenue in 2012, but is an increasingly difficult market for standalone GPS IC vendors. For those that remain, indoor location will be the next major make-or-break technology, while also presenting the potential to generate additional revenue, as illustrated by Qualcomm’s IZat platform. However, in the latest edition of its GPS & GNSS Market Data, ABI Research is forecasting that as the overall GNSS market continues to grow, cellular will become less important, declining to approximately 55% of revenues in 2017. The reason is the changing landscape of the GNSS market, as new opportunities emerge across a range of portable device markets.

As illustrated, ABI Research is forecasting a major shift in the market mix for GPS ICs, as new markets emerge around tablets, cameras, femtocells, M2M, fitness, and personal tracking and IC vendors become less reliant on the more traditional PND and the in-car markets. This should create opportunities for combo-ICs modules, indoor and software-based implementations. Senior analyst Patrick Connolly commented, “All major vendors are re-assessing their design approaches for emerging markets, by U-Blox’s acquisition of Fastrax and the recent CSR-Samsung deal.”

Practice director, Dominique Bonte added, “Breaking $2 Billion illustrates how valuable the consumer GNSS IC market has become. The year 2013 will bring significant change and opportunities to the market, with new indoor technologies, emerging vertical markets, and competitors.”