Fast Leaders & Fast Followers
Talk about on the move. Accelerometers are expected to appear in one-third of mobile phones shipped next year, according to iSuppli. That means one out of three mobile phones shipped worldwide will include an accelerometer – up from one out of five in 2009 and one out of 11 in 2008.
The capabilities of accelerometers to detect and measure motion are spreading beyond smartphones to other types of handsets, says Jérémie Bouchaud, director and principal analyst, Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) for iSuppli.
Beyond game play and screen orientation, the most popular uses for 3-axis MEMS accelerometer motion sensors in phones include power management and shake modes for control of tracks in music phones, context awareness and pedometers.
iSuppli’s teardown analysis of the iPhone 3G S revealed the use of a 3-axis MEMS accelerometer from STMicroelectronics. Beyond the features mentioned above, the STMicroelectronics part works with the new iPhone’s digital compass to orient maps to whatever direction a user is facing. In the teardown of the Palm Pre, iSuppli identified a Kionix MEMS accelerometer and inclinometer.
No Bailout Here
Ever wonder how much the U.S. wireless industry is contributing to the the economy? CTIA spelled it out for government officials in a July filing with the FCC. Here are a few of the highlights:
• Wireless carriers directly employ more than 268,000 people. Beyond carrier employment, more than 2.4 million American jobs are directly or indirectly dependent on the industry.
• Wireless expenditures on structures and equipment from 1998-2007 totaled more than $217 billion.
• As of December 2008, wireless carriers have deployed more than 240,000 cell sites across the country. To achieve full 3G mobile broadband coverage, about 16,000 new sites will need to be constructed and 55,000 existing sites will need to be upgraded.
GPS on the Rise
Worldwide GPS smartphone shipments will grow 34 percent from 57 million units in 2008 to 77 million units in 2009, according to Strategy Analytics.
One factor fueling the adoption of GPS smartphones is widespread consumer acceptance of portable in-vehicle navigation devices – from companies such as TomTom and Garmin in Europe and the United States. Another factor is mobile navigation services are improving, with more mapping applications available among major smartphone vendors, such as Nokia Maps, Apple Google Maps and BlackBerry Maps.
At A Glance
• Bluetooth-enabled equipment shipments will shrink 4 percent in 2009, but shipments will rebound to growth in 2010, says In-Stat. Bluetooth semiconductor revenue will approach $4 billion by 2013.
• FLO TV’s viewership shot up more than 80 percent for Michael Jackson’s July 7 memorial service compared to the previous day. The average viewer spent more than 40 minutes watching FLO – one of the biggest viewing days on record.
• The average U.S. mobile consumer has owned 4 mobile devices, according to Yankee Group.
• Nokia estimates its global mobile device market share was 38 percent in the second quarter, down from 40 percent in the second quarter of 2008 and up from 37 percent in the first quarter of 2009. The company expects its market share in mobile devices will be flat in 2009 compared with 2008.
$3.3 Billion Pegged for LTE Base Stations in 2011
Wireless operators will spend about $3.3 billion building LTE base stations in 2011, according to ABI Research. That expenditure will go toward some 142,000 base stations worldwide. LTE base station equipment spending is expected to rise sharply between 2011 and the end of 2012.
Because of LTE’s propagation characteristics and higher frequencies, operators even-tually will have to deploy extra sites to iron out gaps in coverage, ABI analysts point out.
Some contracts already have been announced. Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Starent are the winners of a major set of contracts from Verizon Wireless. In Japan, NTT DoCoMo is tapping Ericsson, along with local vendors NEC and Fujitsu. TeliaSonera has chosen Ericsson and Huawei, while its fellow Scandinavian operators Tele2 and Telenor are thought likely to settle on Huawei, according to ABI.