Tablets, cameras next major GPS, LBS markets by 2017
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Tablets, cameras next major GPS, LBS markets by 2017

Despite relatively stunted growth thus far, the tablet and camera markets are forecast to be the next major market for location-based services and GPS IC penetration, according to new data from ABI Research (

The research group notes that the tablet market has largely been dominated by Apple and its GPS/Modem strategy. GPS shipments are forecast to reach 37 million in 2012, yet it is still much less than had been previously anticipated. There has been mixed news of late, with the launch of Google’s Nexus 7 and Apple’s iPad mini. Wi-Fi location is a standard feature across all major tablets and while it is complementary, it does act as a barrier to GPS integration.

"When we look at the adoption of applications on tablets, it is forecast to largely mirror that of smartphones, with a focus on local search, social, enterprise, navigation, and ambient intelligence," says ABI Research Senior Analyst Patrick Connolly. "Android will lead the way, as ubiquitous location becomes a necessary component."

He adds that the camera market has huge potential, with geotagging a clear driver. With over 30 GPS-enabled cameras on the market, shipments are expected to break 10 million in 2013, and a second wave of new applications emerging around tracking, Maps/POI, and dead-reckoning.

"As an industry, there needs to be a complete overhaul of how cameras are designed, to find a way to leverage the photography revolution occurring on smartphones," says Connolly. "ABI Research has forecast that this will open the door to GPS, alternative location, and LBS in the future.

The launch of the Sony Vita was expected to kick-start the location-based gaming (LBG) industry, featuring Wi-Fi location as standard, and an optional GPS/modem module.

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