Fortunes to be made and lost in 2010 cellular location market

The GPS and LBS markets are now entering a new phase of development, where potential fortunes could be made and lost; 2010 will define who is serious about location and who may go on to see long term success.

According to a new report from IMS Research, the LBS market is now moving to the next stage of development. Research Director Patrick Connolly stated, "Location services such as social networking, mobile advertising, tracking and pedestrian navigation are beginning to evolve from the initial conceptual phase into something that can stimulate interest and potentially revenues. We are now at a point where the significant mobile companies, such as Nokia, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple and Microsoft are both developing and acquiring around location, mapping and advertising in what appears to be an arms race towards supporting location based advertising. The next phase for these companies will be to look at the services and applications that they can offer through developer partnerships and acquisitions. This will create huge opportunities for innovative companies, while also threatening the current incumbents. IMS Research expects to see a string of similar announcements and acquisitions in 2010."

A key enabler will be the development of a significant critical mass of users. Shipments of GPS chips in 2009 have breached the 200m barrier for the first time. In another first, non-CDMA GPS handset shipments have overtaken the more established CDMA GPS market. "North American GPS penetration is already above 70 percent, which has already driven a range of innovative services and LBS success stories. This market is now becoming the template for other regions to follow." Article