Tablets Drive Mobile Broadband Growth in 2011, says IHS

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According to market information and analysis provider IHS iSuppli, booming sales of tablets this year is helping drive tremendous growth in mobile broadband devices. The market watcher is estimating 57.8 percent increase in the shipments of mobile broadband devices that provide high-speed wireless connectivity while on the go.

As a result, IHS predicts that shipments of mobile broadband devices in 2011 are projected to climb to 157.9 million units, up from 100.1 million units in 2010. Aside from tablets, the mobile broadband segment includes devices such as notebook and netbook computers, as well as e-book readers.

The market research firm said that this year’s growth rate for mobile broadband devices parallels the robust 57.4 percent expansion of 2010, and coming on top of a larger base affirms the market’s strong performance for the second year in a row. Shipments will continue to rise during the next few years but at lower rates, declining to 38.1 percent in 2012 and gradually trending downward until 11.0 percent in 2015 to some 350.7 million units. The five-year compound annual growth rate, computed from the starting year of 2010, stands at 28.5 percent, according to IHS’ new report on Wireless Communications.

As per this report, tablets will represent the fastest-growing mobile broadband device this year with shipments projected to reach 58.9 million units, up a mighty 239.3 percent from 17.4 million in 2010.

In a statement, said Francis Sideco, principal analyst for wireless research at IHS, “More than any wireless device, media tablets – exemplified by the best-selling iPad from Apple Inc. – appear to be at the forefront in boosting mobile broadband.”  

He added, “Affecting everything from supply ecosystems to chipset design, to services, applications and business models, tablets are spurring innovation not just in the wireless sector but also across multiple industries.”  

In particular, media tablets are influencing every node of the value chain, including suppliers, device manufacturers, mobile network operators, third-party applications and service suppliers.

“Whether tablets have built-in Wi-Fi or come with embedded 3G/4G chips, the wireless function of tablets enables them to transcend just merely being another cool gadget into a virtual storefront, with the potential to generate revenue for any number of downstream businesses and industries,” Sideco noted.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.



Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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