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The Mobile Computing Market
- The Big Picture -

Mobile computing and wireless networking market is ready to take off - some research firms expect it to become a 70 billion dollar market in the new millennium (year 2005-2006) if you include wireless data services, mobile devices, application software, systems integration and related services. A study by CIBC World Markets done in 2000 estimate wireless data market itself to explode to 24.5 billion market by 2004. While this forecast may not been fully met, we think it might reach very close to that number.

The biggest challenge that we face in sizing the market is to define what is included and what is not included by a particular analyst in his/her study. The biggest skew is inserted by wireless handsets. If you include second and third generation handsets, the market becomes huge. During 2000, the number of handsets sold world-wide was 440 million units worldwide. At $200 unit price, this represents $88 billion. Since then, annual cellular handset sale numbers have hovered around 450 million mark. If you add to that, wireless network infrastructure market (base stations, etc.), it may be another $40-50 billion.   We suggest to market planners and forecasters that they should not include cellular handsets in mobile computing market sizing because primary use of these handsets is for voice, and not wireless data. Of course, in future, increasing percentage of advanced handsets will be utilized for wireless data applications. Yet, this percentage will not reach 10% for the next several years - we mean where wireless Internet is a major application and nut a casual application.

More recent studies have forecast the market to be as high as twice of the estimate in the first paragraph. MobileInfo.Com is somewhat cautious in its own estimates. We believe that methodology used in some of these surveys and estimates is faulty. The forecasters assume elastic supply of capital to invest in new technology without any competition from other sectors.  They also do not apply statistical validation tests against economic data. We suggest a more conservative outlook and propose that market planners should use caution. By any standards you use, market for mobile computing and wireless is large.

For MobileInfo's forecasts for 2003, published in January 2003, go here. 

For MobileInfo's forecasts for 2002, published in January 2002, go here. 

For MobileInfo's forecasts for 2001, published in January 2001, go here. 

Related Resources:
Market Outlook
Market Trends
Reports & Presentations
Market Metrics - As Reported in the Press
Interviews with Industry Executives (2000-2001)
MobileInfo.Com's  Outlook for 2001


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