PORTLAND, Ore. While almost all segments of the electronics industry will be flat or decline in 2009, a few exceptions are possible, according to an industry survey.
ABI Research predicts that two electronics markets will continue to "grow explosively" next year: video surveillance and telepresence. Both are expanding rapidly, especially in the Internet Protocol sectors. Markets for IP cameras and remote medical diagnostics equipment will continue to expand in 2009, the market researcher predicted.
Likewise, the use of Wi-Fi technology for healthcare will continue to expand in 2009 as doctors, nurses and technicians become more mobile, requiring links to medical databases. New applications of Wi-Fi equipment such as in real-time location services to keep track of expensive medical equipment also will expand.
RFID technology could benefit from the tough economic times, according to ABI, since RFID tags increase operational efficiency and boost profits. The key application will be inventory control, a key requirement as consumer spending slows.
ABI also forecasts that GPS will continue to grow, especially personal navigation devices. Inexpensive portable units will continue to add new features that could attract new users for services such as local searches, geo-tagging, location-based social networking, pedestrian navigation and predictive traffic control.
The smart phone market also will continue to grow in 2009, not only for dominant players but also for an increasing number of new market entrants such as Samsung, LG Group and High Tech Computer Corp. Overall, however, the mobile phone market is forecast to decline in 2009 by as much as 5 percent as the number of new subscribers slows in emerging markets and wary consumers delay replacing their existing handsets.