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Dull PC market drags down computing modem shipments

Posted: 13 Nov 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ABI Research  computing modem  mobile broadband  4G  LTE 

According to the latest report from ABI Research, mobile broadband modems used in non-smartphone mobile computers, tablets and CE devices are predicted to have total shipments drop eight per cent YoY to 50 million units for the full year 2015. As portable computing shipments have declined, so have the key aftermarket upgrades. One of the leading accessories for portable computers is the 4G LTE USB modem. Mobile broadband USB modems have not been immune to the PC market contraction, added the market research company.

"USB modems are the market anomaly because of their exclusive use on traditional computing platforms," said Jeff Orr, research director at ABI Research. "Even though the Windows 10 OS release is breathing new life into an aging laptop installed base, it does not translate into increased investment for mobile broadband." ABI Research estimates USB modem shipments will decline 13 per cent YoY.

Outside of USB, makers of embedded modem modules and mobile hotspot routers remain upbeat about the market potential. A modem module built into a new tablet or 2-in-1 ultraportable PC aligns with the mobile use case of these modern devices. Both consumers and businesses alike can benefit from connecting multiple Wi-Fi-enabled devices to a mobile hotspot router that utilizes a high-speed mobile network for connectivity anywhere, whether in transit or at venues where Wi-Fi is not available. ABI Research further finds that modem modules and mobile hotspot router unit volume will stay roughly flat (±5 per cent) YoY while revenues for these modem types will contract 10-15 per cent to drive more interest in mobile broadband adoption.

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