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Software will rule navigation market by 2016: Report

London, UK: Even though industry experts long ago decided which side of the “software is killing the dedicated in-car navigation device” debate they are on. Now, the market research is also in their favour as the rate of change in revenue from the software is impressive, according to ABI Research’s latest report, Location Systems and Platforms Forecasts.

The report forecasts future of in-dash, portable and handset-based navigation systems and solutions for each region, including navigation hardware and software shipments and revenue and market penetration levels, as well as vendor market share. It also contains current data on subscribers, revenue and commercial carrier deployments for the LBS sector.

Some of the findings of the report are:
– In 2009, almost 95 percent of revenues came from established, hardware-based technologies such as factory-fitted navigation and unconnected PNDs. Software-focused markets such as handset-based navigation and connected PNDs were negligible.
– By 2014, more than 60 percent of the installed base will consist of software-based navigation solutions, and the off-deck location-based services (LBS) market will be primarily funded by advertising rather than direct fees.
– By 2016, revenues will to all intents and purposes be a 50:50 split.

“For years (world economic crash aside), the in-car navigation market has grown relatively unabated. Now, with the penetration rates in some regions approaching 50 percent, it starts to become more competitive. The result is a clear transition away from pure hardware sales to software based-solutions and revenues,” said Patrick Connolly, Senior Analyst, ABI Research.

Reasons for this trend include:
– In-dash ASPs are falling as companies look to open up the market, driving down hardware revenue.
– Connected PNDs will become commonplace as the likes of TomTom and Garmin innovate and drive new revenue streams.
– The arrival of application stores and free navigation will help to drive uptake and revenue in the handset-based market.
– By 2014, carrier navigation will be evenly split between subscription and free (largely as part of data plans).
– Location-based advertising will create a viable alternative to subscription services.

Practice director Dominique Bonte concludes, “Finally, this market is evolving to support new revenue sources. Those that fail to move with the market will be left behind.”

Source: ABI Research