The folks at Databeans have made a guessitmate that in three years or so the collective market for GPS chip sets will approach $1.3 billion. The graph below is essentially a linear growth of 11 percent per year if their base sales statistics are well founded. What is missing though is the estimated count of chips, to me the more relevant interest. Current rumors for "chip-sets" suggest around $4-12 per set. For companies like SiRF they are attemtping to hold value by combination of additional handset integration for things like graphics and FM radio and the like. So if we use $700 million as the current best guess and $10 per chip set that makes 7 million devices which seems reasonable when the likely smartphone with GPS sales is to be at least 10 million units? So if I figure that the the cost per chip set will fall by 80 percent over the next several years... (Moore's Law?) then $1.3 billion in gross sales is going to be a HEAP of navigation opportunites! And most of them will be in your smartphone!
Databeans - Momentum Shifting in the GPS Device Market
As mobile phone manufacturers try to keep pace with one another, this announcement may have a strong impact on GPS usage within handsets. Along with phones, GPS technology finds its other main applications in portable navigation devices and vehicles. All together, Databeans expects revenue for GPS chipsets to grow at an average annual growth rate of 11 percent, reaching nearly $ 1.3 billion in 2013. Today, Databeans estimates the market at $729 million.
With the large number of current mobile phone users and the relatively low penetration rate of GPS into phones, the handset market should drive GPS growth. In addition to the iPhone, the major handset players, Nokia, Motorola, and Samsung, all offer phones utilizing the technology. Garmin, the world’s largest GPS manufacturer has also entered the handset space, set to release its nüvifone in the third quarter of this year. In general, as consumers replace their previous phones with new models, their demand for increased functionality should lead to strong sales for GPS technology into handsets.