LONDON The market for mobile handsets and the components that go into them is set to rebound next year in style, according to market tracker Forward Concepts (Temple, AZ).
The researchers are forecasting a 12.8 percent growth in shipments of mobile phones during 2010, after a predicted decline of 4.4 percent this year to 1.22 billion units.
Looking further ahead, the market tracker is forecasting that 56 million LTE (Long Term Evolution) capable handsets will be shipped in 2013, one of the most optimistic estimates of the take-up of the still emerging rechnology.
In its latest report on the global cellphone sector and the components that go into them, Forward Concepts says that despite an overall decline this year, smartphone shipments are predicted to grow by 25 percent, feature phones by 2.5 percent and that shipments of ultra-low-cost phones to the developing countries will grow by 14.5 percent.
HSPA+ is emerging this year, and the researchers say the high data rate technology will begin to displace W-CDMA and HSDPA. LTE will begin in 2010, first as data cards and dongles.
On the components side, the fast-growing smartphone market is said to be driving introduction of peripherals that support Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and FM radio on a single chip.
Application processor competition is forecast to get even tougher as the demand for increasing video and Internet functionality grows with 3G's higher data rates.
Forward Concepts maintains there is a clear trend of bundling application processors with digital basebands, either on a single die or in a multichip package. The resulting "Communication Processors" are becoming popular, and could ultimately hurt companies that specialize in only one of those components.
The ever-present LCD display will soon have to make room for newer displays, like OLED, ePaper, Qualcomm's Mirasol, and Liquavista. The market for these new "post-LCD" displays is said to be growing fast...to over $3 billion in 2013.
MEMS constitute another fast-growing component family, expanding from basic accelerometers, to filters, gyroscopes, RF switches and microphones, reaching over $1.6 billion in 2013.
Will Strauss, Forward Concepts' president said: "Qualcomm continues to dominate the cellphone chip market but ST-Ericsson is expected to displace Texas Instruments for the number-two spot in 2009.
"Infineon is not far behind and with recent new financing, their future appears brighter now. With new peripherals and features being continually added, there are opportunities for smaller vendors to target new chip types to get their piece of the market."
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