Google and Nokia are driving a boom in handset-based navigation shipments. Sales are expected to rise from 30 million in 2010 to 181 million in 2015, according to a new report.
This is a compound annual growth rate of 43 per cent over the next five years, says technology market research company ABI Research, which released the report earlier this month.
In a statement, ABI spokesman Dominique Bonte said that the boom is largely being driven by free turn-by-turn navigation solutions recently released by the two companies. “During its last earnings call, Nokia announced that Ovi Maps had already been downloaded more than 10 million times.”
He said that Google Maps Navigation was initially only available on Android phones in the US, but the recent UK launch prompts speculation on its gradual introduction on other platforms and in other markets.
The report also noted that navigation services are increasingly being included in packages from handset vendors and carriers. These are being subsidised by smartphone hardware or data communication revenues.
Bonde said that this puts pressure on smaller vendors, which find it harder to capitalise on market share and brand to generate new revenue streams. Smaller vendors are also less able to reduce costs through crowdsourcing, or to offer bundled services, he said.
“Consolidation will be unavoidable,” Bonte said.