Tue, Oct 14, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Navigation handset users to reach 70 million: study

BENEFITS Researchers said that GPS technology in smartphones and navigation services would be the leading drivers behind the strong growth in handsets

By Elizabeth Tchii  /  STAFF REPORTER

Berg Insight AB, a telecommunications industry research firm based in Gothenburg, Sweden, predicted the number of navigation handset users would reach 70 million by 2014.

In a report released on Friday, Berg Insight used a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.9 percent and a base of 16 million users worldwide for this year to project the figure for 2014.

The firm also said “revenues from subscriptions and advertisements are expected to reach 597 million euros [US$784.31 million] by 2014 from 177 million euros in 2008, using a CAGR of 22.4 percent.”

The research company did not explain how it calculated the CAGR, but said global positioning system (GPS) technology in smartphones and navigation services would be the leading drivers behind the strong growth.

The report said that since Nokia Corp had introduced the first GPS enabled handset in Europe last year, major cellphone makers had rolled out their own versions. The wide array of products with GPS includes Apple Inc’s iPhone, Samsung Electronics Co’s Omina i908, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ltd’s Xperia X1 and High Tech Computer Corp’s (宏達電) Diamond Touch handset.

“The mobile industry is now starting to reap the benefits from the introduction of GPS-enabled handsets. However, most mobile navigation users only use the service during a free trial period. The key challenge will be to convert these test-users into paying subscribers,” Berg Insight analyst Andre Malm wrote.

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