ABI Research predicts Location Based Services revenues to grow at 156% from $1.7 billion in 2008 to $2.6 billion in 2009. By 2014 global LBS revenues will have surpassed $14 billion.
"One of the main drivers of the strong growth in LBS is the popularity of an impressive number of off-deck LBS applications available for a one-off fee on smartphone platforms," says ABI Research practice director Dominique Bonte. "Apple's iPhone is leading the way, followed by Blackberry, Nokia, and Android. There seems to be no limit to developers' creativity in using location for functions such as search, social networking, messaging, micro-blogging and augmented reality. Combined with the astonishing popularity of the new generation of GPS-enabled touch screen smartphones, this will continue to constitute the lifeblood of LBS in the coming years."
A More Open Strategy
Many carriers in both the US and Europe are waking up to this reality by gradually adopting a more open LBS strategy with Verizon increasing the number of unlocked GPS phones and Vodafone having acquired navigation software vendor Wayfinder. Both carriers are also making their networks accessible via open API platforms. Other carriers such as Sprint have opted to partner with location aggregators as a way to play a role in the LBS ecosystem.
While there is no doubt LBS is heading towards mass market adoption, it remains unclear which pricing and business models will emerge successfully. Currently subscription-based models are making way for one-off pricing or free hardware-subsidized offers, but expectations for advertising revenues in the longer term remain high despite privacy and fragmentation issues.
Bonte concludes, "ABI Research expects many business models will continue to coexist with recurring fees for many enterprise, navigation and safety services, but free models for most other consumer applications."
"Location Based Services Market Data" provides LBS subscriber and revenue forecast data per region and per type of application (Community, Enterprise, Infotainment, Navigation & Mapping, Gaming & Recreation, and People Tracking). Forecasts for alternative positioning technologies and location platforms are also included.
It is part of the Location Based Services Research Service, which also includes other Market Data products, Research Reports, Research Briefs, an Online Database, ABI Vendor Matrices, ABI Insights, and analyst inquiry support.
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of emerging trends in global connectivity. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research's worldwide team of experts advise thousands of decision makers through 25 research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.