SIM card market to reach 3.8bn units in 2010

Driven by growing connectivity demands, the SIM card market is forecast to grow 10 per cent in 2010, approaching 3.8 billion shipments, according to ABI Research.

Key sectors behind this growth--M2M, browser-based services and new business models--will, claims ABI, continue to grow in volume and value over the next few years as new markets and applications come online.

At the same time, mobile operators are evaluating which services are best run on the SIM in an effort to maximise security and combat the threat of third-party application stores, which could limit their future data service revenue.

ABI principal analyst John Devlin said, "SIM cards offer operators a direct presence with the end-user; it makes sense that service providers will take advantage of the increased level of functionality, performance and security. With handset manufacturers and companies such as Google offering their own portals and services directly to end-users, operators need to be able to compete."

According to Devlin, future growth will not be derived by more mobile phones alone. Instead, the analyst believes that the ramping up of M2M deployments, automotive, smart metering and tele-health applications will become strong influencers.

Outside of these sectors, E-readers, tablets, netbooks, laptops, PNDs and gaming devices are all becoming increasingly connected. Article