Mobile based map applications and location based services are the most favored apps on mobile phones. Off course, this doesn’t discount voice and SMS apps on mobile. According to an article from business week , mobile maps scores big compared to other applications. So this is indeed one of the mobile killer apps. I’m I surprised by this- not really. Infact, this is what I have been saying all these days. I guess its still in the infancy stage. Supporting only map capability by itself may not be a very big revenue generating market. Nonetheless, using map and location as platform and adding features on top of these apps shall be the future revenue generating model. Every big internet company like Yahoo, Google and Microsoft have their own map for the web interface. Google is leading the pack by announcing so many different maps features like MyLocation
, i'm sure there is more in-store from Google than only map functionality. I guess there recent acquisition of Jaiku and zingku will have some role to play in the future of Google map mashups.
Most of these companies depend on the data for their maps from either Navteq or Tele Atlas. These are the only two companies offering such map data bases with global reach, which imbues the prospect of their acquisition by the leading PND and mobile phone manufacturers with particular significance. These are the companies that support GPS based applications like TomTom, GM Onstar, Trimble, Garmin and all online web mapping and local search services. Nokia saw a great potential in this sector and surprised everyone by buying navteq for $8.1 billion dollars. This effectively counters other companies dependent on navteq for services. TomTom followed nokia and offered to purchase Tele Atlas stock for €21.25 (US$30.03) per share, an offer that would amount to $2.6 billion in value.
Interesting facts from ItFacts, the number of mobile subscribers accessing maps and downloading routes using their mobile handsets in Europe and the USA is expected to grow from 4 million users in 2007 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 60.8% to reach 43 million users in 2012. Revenue from subscriptions and advertisement is expected to reach 512 million euros by 2012 from 96 million euros in 2007, a CAGR of 39.8%.
According to a report from by ABI Research,
“GPS-Enabled Mobile Devices", Shipments of GPS-enabled mobile phones will generate over $50 billion in revenues in 2008, rising to $100 billion in 2012. The market for these handsets is expected to grow from around 240 million units in 2008 to over 550 million handset shipments in 2012. At present, most current GPS-enabled handsets are CDMA devices, but ABI expects increasing numbers of GPS-enabled handsets for 3G/WCDMA networks will start to appear in the market from 2008 onwards”
ABI Research believes that the mobile industry has reached the stage where we can expect to see rapid growth in the GPS-enabled handset market. “From cost and technology perspectives, chipset manufacturers now have solutions in place that will allow the integration of GPS in handsets at low cost and provide significant improvements in terms of accuracy, time-to-first-fix, and reception in indoor environments” said ABI. “On the services side, mobile operators and navigation application developers are coming up with attractive LBS offerings. Also, handset vendors are showing greater interest not only in providing GPS-enabled handsets, but also in introducing their own GPS-centric applications and services”.
Here are some of the highlights of the report:
• From cost and technology perspectives, chipset manufacturers now have solutions in place that will allow the integration of GPS in handsets at low cost and provide significant improvements in terms of accuracy, time-to-first-fix, and reception in indoor environments
• Services side shall see more attractive LBS offerings from mobile operators and navigation application developers.
Stay tuned for my part II of the article, I will cover more about location based services that can be built on top of mobile map application.
Some interesting links:
lbs deals are up
List of LBS buyout