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Business | December 27, 2011

2012 - The Good, the Bad & the Ugly!

IMS Research looks ahead to the good, the bad and the ugly within the wireless industry for 2012.
The good….

Low-power wireless technologies will gain a foothold in the Smartphone: In 2012 over 35% of smartphones will be shipped with dual-mode Bluetooth low energy (also known as Bluetooth Smart Ready). In addition, a third major phone brand will incorporate ANT, with this in mind, over 10 million ANT+ enabled phones will be shipped in 2012.

Switch from -n to –ac for 802.11: This is the year that portable computing devices transition from 802.11n to 802.11ac. IMS Research predicts that in 2012 over 3 million computing devices will be fitted with 802.11ac.

Acceleration of NFC in Smartphones: Looking forward to 2012, sales of NFC-enabled cellular handsets are projected to accelerate during the next twelve months to reach over 80 million handsets. Showcase events such as the Summer Olympic Games in London will help to promote the technology and its benefits.

The year for low-power Wi-Fi-enabled PC peripherals: Over 2 million units will be shipped, driven by growing support from key industry players, the declining IC ASP, and user-friendly, dongle-free pairing due to the native ‘soft AP’ in Windows 7.

The bad….

Not this year for LTE: Despite a great deal of hype, LTE will have a negligible impact in 2012. Although LTE is forecast to be the 4G technology of choice, the tough economic climate has resulted in major deployment set-backs for the industry.

Mono headset market decline: Mono Bluetooth headset shipments in North America will begin to decline in 2012. North America was quick to adopt the mono Bluetooth headset, however the market is now in its maturity phase and unit shipments are likely to decline at an average of 0.5% year-on-year.

And the ugly….

PC vendors will quit the Android PC tablet market: PC vendors have struggled to develop a profitable model for their tablet business. With differences in products limited, and with the low cost solutions from new entrants, such as Amazon and Nook, further pushing prices down, some PC vendors are forecast to exit the tablet market in 2012. Instead the focus for some of these companies will switch to the emerging Ultrabook market, as well as Windows platform tablets.

WirelessHD is dead, long live WiGig: Although WirelessHD has been shipping since 2009, it has not received the industry backing of WiGig. With the arrival of WiGig in 2012, the WirelessHD market will enter its death throes. In the first year, IMS Research predicts shipments of over 1 million for WiGig.
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