#4 – Connected Devices
Strong growth in mobile connections in 2011 will demonstrate that 10 billion global connections will be reached by 2015
Northstream believes that increased Mobile Broadband availability will drive the global mobile market beyond 10 billion connections by 2015. In 2009, Northstream predicted that the M2M/connected device market will start demonstrating strong growth in 2010, and this is what is happening. AT&T has seen total growth in connected device take up of 137% from Q3 ‘09 to Q3 ‘10 – strong evidence that the M2M market is set to explode. Last year Amazon’s Kindle was setting the pace, and new products in the tablet space, such as iPad, are also now driving the market. Market analysts such as iSuppli have re-checked their tablet sales estimates – they originally stated that single function eReaders will enjoy 40% CAGR (’09-’14), but accept that devices like the iPad and its likes could experience ten times that growth. Gartner has also increased its forecast of 10.5 million tablet sales up to 19.5 million for this year in accordance with extraordinary demand.
In order to grow from the 5.2 billion mobile connections we have today to 10 billion by 2015, the global mobile industry would need to achieve a CAGR of 14%. This may initially appear aggressive, but we believe the following factors will drive this growth:
- Sustained growth of voice subscriptions in emerging markets
- Growth in data-only subscriptions and the potential these could deliver in countries such as China and India
- Ongoing mobile broadband take up developed markets
- Growth of M2M deployments beyond consumer devices. More widespread mobile broadband take up will drive M2M applications across new vertical markets such as automotive, utilities and consumer electronics. Northstream believes that many of the current subscription estimates and forecasts for M2M technology are far too conservative.