The falloff is driven by a growing trend among commercial buyers wishing to avoid being locked into a single vendor and to achieve interoperable communications across diverse systems, and by consumers wanting devices to communicate with mobile platforms like smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
The market for low-power wireless modules will be robust from 2011 to 2018 and well beyond, IHS forecasts, because the factors that lead to manufacturers choosing modules are unlikely to change considerably in the next five to 10 years. And while each application has a volume break where modules start to lose their appeal, the break point may be lowered in the future by evolving product development trends, given the market's long tail. Many applications will never approach even that reduced volume break, IHS believes.
For their part, some high-volume, price-sensitive application developers will continue to choose modules to allow manufacturing flexibility and design reuse among multiple SKUs, which will also be helpful to preserving vigor in the low-power wireless module market. As an example, one has to look no further than the success of WiFi modules in high-volume applications -- and to deduce the same for lower-power wireless modules and their attendant applications.
The findings are contained in the IHS report, "Low-Power Wireless Modules Report – World, 2013."
— Paul Buckley
This story originally appeared on EE Times Europe.