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Global Portable Devices Industry


An important segment of the consumer electronics industry, portable communication and computing devices are becoming increasingly vital as people adopt lifestyles with greater need for connectivity. Widely used portable device products include smartphones, cellphones, pocket organizers, laptops and handhelds.

In the second fiscal quarter of 2011 alone, almost 430 million mobile devices units were sold on the global market, representing a near 17% rise compared with the same quarter in 2010. Smartphone sales were up as much as 75% compared to 2010, accounting for 25% of overall second quarter sales.

China’s portable digital device market is recording steady growth after the worldwide recession, with the majority of suppliers investing to maximize capacity. China has an 80% share of the world digital camera and portable DVD player market.

Key Market Categories


As portable devices are used on a more widespread basis, the global mobile security market continues to grow in tandem. The world mobile security market is expected to generate close to $4 billion in revenue by 2016, according to research from Visiongain. Mobile malware figures doubled between 2010 and 2011, representing a growing threat for mobile devices. The mobile security market is fuelled by increasing numbers of rogue apps, ID theft, malware, SMS fraud and data theft. Leading companies include McAfee, Panda Security, AVG, Lookout, Vodafone, Mobile Security Labs, SmrtGuard and BullGuard.


According to Visiongain, the navigation systems market will hold vast potential for newcomers through 2016. As yet, location-based services have not yet come into their mature phase, with available apps such as Gowalla and Foursquare already proving popular. The app market is predicted to exceed $60 billion in 2016.


The global market for phones and palmtop computers (PDAs) is showing a steady increase, with the smartphone app market expected to exceed $101 billion in 2017, reports Global Industry Analysts.


The world NAND flash device market is expected to exceed $31 billion in 2014, reports Technavio. The market will be driven by growing numbers of smartphone and tablet computer users. Challenges faced by the market include a possible supply glut. Leading companies on the NAND flash device market include Toshiba, Intel, Micron, and Samsung.


The global mobile augmented reality market is forecasted to show strong growth through 2016, at which time it is expected to account for a quarter of all application downloads, according to Visiongain. Market growth depends on other market segments such as tablet computers, smartphones and the LTE/4G networks industry.


The world 3G/3.5G market is expected to have close to 4.3 billion subscribers by 2017, according to research from Global Industry Analysts. High-bandwidth multimedia services demand will fuel the market along with 3G enabled mobile phone sales and the spread of 3G networks through emerging markets. The volume of mobile handsets has fallen recently due to the economic recession, impacting the 3G/3.5G market.


According to IE Market Research, there are more than 830 million paying digital music subscribers throughout the world, with a forecast of over 1.5 billion for 2014, representing annual growth of 17%. The global digital music market is expected to grow at a rate of over 37% through 2014 to reach almost $33 billion. Online digital music retail is forecast to grow at 33% yearly to generate almost $14 billion in 2014. Record company profit from music downloads is forecast to exceed $21 billion in 2014. North America’s digital music market is expected to reach almost $12 billion in 2014. The category of online single download users is expected to show almost 21% yearly growth, with subscription users forecast to record almost 60% yearly growth to reach close to 29 million subscribers by 2014.

Market Outlook


As technology evolves, the portable device market will continue to focus on innovation. Portable device companies are adopting technologies such as cameras and navigations systems, with Global Positioning System (GPS) now included in many devices. Increasing threats such as ID theft, fraud and malware, will drive the mobile security market, which expands hand-in-hand with the portable devices market. Visiongain predicts that almost every business sector employee will be equipped with a smartphone that has internet access by 2016.


Leading Industry Associations




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Topics under Portable Devices

Parent industry:  Consumer Electronics

Related markets: Laptop, E-Book, 4G, Mobile Device, Bookstore, Smartphone, Tablet Computer, Handset, Cell Phone, GPS, Blackberry, Ipad, GNSS, Cellular Network, iPhone, Flexible Display, E-Reader

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