As consumer awareness of global position systems (GPS) increases, so has product innovation and total market revenue. While roughly half of the market today consists of sales of automotive and asset tracking equipment, these segments will still continue to grow at rates faster than that of the broader market for GPS equipment. Despite the strength of these markets, new segments are constantly emerging for GPS applications, driving demand for gear as diverse as people tracking devices and GPS golf systems. The net result will be a market worth over $22 B by 2008, according to technology market research firm ABI.

Companies like Garmin, Wherify and Navman are synonymous with integrating GPS receivers into innovative form factors. Advances in GPS integrated circuits (IC) will fuel this trend across the entire industry. Sony’s recent announcement unveiling a miniature, single chip IC provides further evidence that more of these novel applications are likely in an ever-increasing range of devices. According to a recent study from ABI, unit growth in ICs, the brains behind the devices’ positioning capabilities, will likely be about 35 percent compounded annually over the next five years. Revenue growth will be strong, but not as spectacular as unit growth, due mainly to pricing pressure.

The study, “GPS World Markets: Opportunities for Equipment and IC Suppliers,” examines the current status and trends of the global positioning systems industry. Covered areas include wireless and in-vehicle navigation, as well as growing segments such as recreation, communication, people tracking, marine and surveying, among others. For each segment, total value market is forecasted to 2008 in addition to regional totals. An analysis of key market drivers and barriers for each segment is presented. The report also quantifies the market for GPS IC shipments, ASP and revenue to 2008.

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