Handset Connectivity Technologies – 4th Edition

  • June 2013
  • -
  • Berg Insight AB
  • -
  • 152 pages

Executive summary

Global handset shipments grew only 3 percent in 2012 to reach 1.6 billion units. The increase was driven by the popularity of smartphones. Sales of smartphones grew almost 47 percent in 2012 to 690 million units, compared to 470 million units in 2011. Berg Insight estimates that 4.4 billion people, about 62 percent of the world’s population, owned at least one mobile phone at the end of 2012. The global active installed base of smartphones grew to 1.2 billion units, which is about 23 percent of all mobile phones in use. Multiple factors are driving the fast transition to smartphones. Customers put more emphasis on the user experience including support for apps and the web. At the same time, mobile operators have found smartphones to be an important driver of data and app revenues and have therefore been willing to subsidise these handsets. Mobile phone vendors have adopted smartphone operating systems in order to reduce development time and cost for new advanced handset models.

A broad range of wireless connectivity technologies are becoming standard features across more handset segments. Bluetooth can be used to connect headsets, fitness and medical sensors. WLAN can be used for Internet access, peer-to-peer file sharing, or HD video and audio streaming. New standards such as Wi-Fi Passpoint also enable mobile devices to discover and connect to WLAN networks automatically without user intervention. WLAN can thus be used as a cost-effective data offloading solution to handle the rise in data traffic from smartphones. Near Field Communication (NFC) is a standard for short-range wireless, pointto- point communication over distances of about 10 centimetres. When deployed in mobile phones, NFC can be used for countless applications, ranging from information exchange and device pairing, to electronic ticketing and secure contactless payments. The most important driver for GPS integration in handsets today is arguably the interest in location-based services (LBS), although emergency call location mandates are being introduced in several countries.

In contrast to emergency call services relying on occasional push to fix positioning, consumer-oriented LBS pose new challenges. Handsets thus need to support services that require both infrequent push to fix updates in addition to continuous position updates – all whilst conserving battery life. The revised emergency call mandates in the US may well require approaches such as using improved hybrid location technologies in all handsets. GPS technology for handsets has matured, offering much better performance in terms of sensitivity, power consumption, size and price than was possible a few years ago. Support for other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) such as GLONASS, Compass/BeiDou 2 and Galileo will also be added over time. Handsets with GPS/GLONASS receivers have been available since 2011. The first devices compatible with the Chinese BeiDou 2 system are expected later in 2013. Using multiple satellite systems concurrently ensures additional visible satellites and incrementally better performance in urban canyons. However, in order to improve indoor performance, hybrid positioning systems are needed. Hybrid positioning systems can fuse data from sensors to provide input to position calculations. Examples include inertial sensors such as accelerometer and gyroscope, as well as compass and pressure sensors. Low data accuracy and high drift obtained from low cost sensors as well as high power consumption, still make dead reckoning for extended periods of time unfeasible. Yet, if periodic calibrations can be made using various network signal measurements, the system performance can be improved and provide valuable augmentation in the form of smother trajectories and bridging of gaps.

The Bluetooth attach rate reached 75 percent across all handset segments in 2012. The attach rate for WLAN connectivity in the smartphone segment grew to 96 percent in 2012, but only reached 4 percent in the featurephone segment. The latest WLAN IEEE 802.11ac standard enabling faster throughput and higher network capacity became available in the first high-end smartphones at the end of Q1-2013. Relatively low additional cost will enable rapid transition from WLAN 802.11n to WLAN 802.11ac in the next couple of years. The attach rate for GPS in handsets grew from 37 percent in 2011 to nearly 47 percent in 2012. GPS connectivity has now become a standard feature on most smartphone models across all air interface standards, as well as in nearly all CDMA featurephones. Adoption of NFC accelerated in 2012 when the top-ten handset vendors released nearly 100 NFC-enabled models. Berg Insight estimates that NFC handset shipments grew 300 percent in 2012 to 140 million units worldwide. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48.2 percent, NFC handset shipments are forecasted to reach 1 billion units by 2017.

This report will allow you to:

• Benefit from numerous executive interviews with market leading companies.
• Learn about the strategies of the leading chipset and handset vendors.
• Gain access to the latest data and statistics about handset shipments.
• Identify the opportunities and challenges with integration of multiple connectivity technologies in mobile handsets.
• Realize the importance of Assisted-GNSS and hybrid location technologies.
• Comprehend how NFC technology in handsets can enable new services.
• Understand the drivers and barriers for industry-wide adoption of new technology.
• Predict future connectivity design trends and technology developments.

This report answers the following questions:

• What is the current state of NFC adoption in the handset market?
• What is the roadmap for integration of new WLAN standards in mobile phones?
• What is driving the adoption of GPS technology in GSM/ WCDMA handsets?
• What are the benefits with Assisted-GPS, A-GNSS and hybrid location technologies?
• Which features are supported in the latest Bluetooth standard?
• Who are the leading developers of cellular and connectivity chipsets?
• Which connectivity technologies are being adopted by leading handset vendors?
• What impact will new technologies have on the wireless chipset value chain?
• How is the greater diversity of radios affecting wireless chipset and handset design?

Who should buy this report?

Handset Connectivity Technologies is the foremost source of information about this market. Whether you are a telecom vendor, mobile operator, manufacturer, investor, consultant, application developer or government agency, you will gain valuable insights from our in-depth research.

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Table of Contents i
List of Figures vi
Executive summary 1

1 Mobile handsets and smartphones 3

1.1 Introduction 3
1.1.1 Mobile voice and data subscribers 5
1.1.2 Handset sales by technology and region 5
1.1.3 Wireless connectivity attach rates driven by higher smartphones sales 7
1.2 Wireless communication technologies 8
1.2.1 Spectrum and interference 9
1.2.2 Cellular communication technologies 9
1.2.3 Personal area networks 10
1.2.4 Local area networks 11
1.3 Wireless broadcast technologies 12
1.3.1 Radio 12
1.3.2 Mobile TV 12
1.3.3 Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) 13
1.4 Mobile handset trends 14
1.4.1 The featurephone to smartphone transition is accelerating 14
1.4.2 Handset form factors and user interfaces 15
1.4.3 Smartphones and tablets are becoming the main computing platform 18
1.4.4 Wireless connectivity developments 19

2 Handset hardware platforms 23

2.1 Overview of handset hardware platforms 23
2.1.1 Handset hardware components 23
2.1.2 Mobile application processor technologies and architectures 24
2.1.3 Horizontal and vertical integration of connectivity technologies 25
2.1.4 Host interfaces 27
2.1.5 Connectivity chipset integration challenges 28
2.2 The handset chipset industry 29
2.2.1 Industry consolidation and reorganisation will continue 29
2.2.2 Handset semiconductor revenues 30
2.2.3 Baseband and application processor vendors and market shares 31
2.2.4 Connectivity chipset vendors and market shares 32
2.3 Cellular platform vendor profiles 34
2.3.1 Broadcom 35
2.3.2 Intel 37
2.3.3 Marvell 38
2.3.4 MediaTek 39
2.3.5 Mstar Semiconductor 40
2.3.6 NVIDIA 41
2.3.7 Qualcomm 42
2.3.8 Renesas Mobile Corporation 44
2.3.9 Spreadtrum Communications 45
2.3.10 ST-Ericsson 46

3 GNSS technologies 49

3.1 Overview of global navigation satellite systems 49
3.1.1 Global Positioning System (GPS) 50
3.1.2 Galileo 51
3.1.3 GLONASS 52
3.1.4 Compass/BeiDou 2 53
3.2 Mobile location technologies and platforms 54
3.2.1 Mobile network-based location technologies 56
3.2.2 Assisted GPS and A-GNSS 56
3.2.3 Bluetooth and Wi-Fi positioning 58
3.2.4 Hybrid and indoor location technologies 59
3.3 GPS and GNSS chipsets for handsets 60
3.3.1 Standalone receivers 60
3.3.2 Host-based receivers 60
3.3.3 Integrated receiver architectures 61
3.3.4 Software-based receivers 61
3.3.5 GNSS receivers for handsets 61
3.4 GNSS chipset vendors 62
3.4.1 GNSS IC vendor market shares 63
3.4.2 CellGuide 64
3.4.3 CSR 65
3.4.4 u-blox 66

4 Connectivity technologies 69

4.1 Bluetooth technologies 69
4.1.1 Bluetooth specifications 70
4.1.2 Bluetooth applications and profiles 71
4.2 Wireless LAN technologies 73
4.2.1 IEEE 802.11 WLAN standards 73
4.2.2 Wi-Fi certification and specifications 75
4.2.3 Operator interest in Wi-Fi for mobile data offloading continues to grow 76
4.2.4 WLAN chipsets and handset integration issues 77
4.2.5 WLAN handset shipments trends 79
4.2.6 WLAN chipset vendor market shares 80
4.3 Near Field Communication technologies 81
4.3.1 NFC Forum specifications 81
4.3.2 NFC communication modes 83
4.3.3 NFC solution architectures and chipsets for handsets 84
4.3.4 NFC controller vendor market shares 86
4.3.5 Mobile wallet ecosystems 87
4.3.6 NFC handset availability and sales accelerated in 2012 91
4.4 Wireless charging technologies 93
4.4.1 Introduction to inductive charging technologies 93
4.4.2 Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) 94
4.4.3 Power Matters Alliance (PMA) 94
4.4.4 Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) - Qi 95
4.4.5 Overview of wireless charging-enabled handsets 96
4.5 Connectivity chipset vendor profiles 97
4.5.1 Inside Secure 98
4.5.2 Nordic Semiconductor 99
4.5.3 NXP Semiconductors 99
4.5.4 Redpine Signals 100
4.5.5 Renesas Electronics 101
4.5.6 Samsung Electronics - System LSI 102
4.5.7 STMicroelectronics 103
4.5.8 Texas Instruments 104

5 The global handset market 105

5.1 Handset market trends 105
5.1.1 Smartphone ecosystem developments 106
5.1.2 Smartphone platform market shares 108
5.1.3 Handset vendor market shares 110
5.1.4 Best-selling smartphones in 2012 113
5.2 Handset vendor profiles 115
5.2.1 Apple 115
5.2.2 BlackBerry 116
5.2.3 HTC 117
5.2.4 Huawei 119
5.2.5 LG Electronics 120
5.2.6 Motorola Mobility 122
5.2.7 Nokia 123
5.2.8 Samsung Electronics 125
5.2.9 Sony Mobile Communications 127
5.2.10 ZTE 129
5.2.11 Lenovo 130
5.2.12 Micromax 131
5.2.13 Pantech 132
5.2.14 TCL Communication 133
5.2.15 Yulong - Coolpad 134

6 Market trends and forecasts 135

6.1 Market trends 135
6.1.1 Smartphone adoption drives connectivity attach rates 135
6.1.2 Consolidation in the wireless chipset industry set to continue 136
6.1.3 Cost requirements favour development of integrated chipsets 137
6.1.4 Hybrid location technologies drive performance improvements in handsets 138
6.2 Handset shipment forecasts 139
6.2.1 Handset shipment forecasts by region and primary access technology 139
6.2.2 Handset shipment forecasts by category and price segment 141
6.2.3 GNSS-enabled handset shipment forecasts by segment 142
6.2.4 GNSS-enabled handset shipment forecasts by geographical region 144
6.2.5 WLAN-enabled handset shipment forecasts 146
6.2.6 NFC-enabled handset shipment forecasts 147
6.3 Connectivity chipset shipments and revenue forecasts 149
6.3.1 GNSS receiver chipset revenue forecasts 149
6.3.2 Bluetooth, WLAN and NFC chipset revenue forecasts 151
Glossary 155



List of Figures

Figure 1.1: Wireless cellular subscribers by standard (World 2011-2012) 3
Figure 1.2: Mobile subscriptions by region (World 2011-2012) 4
Figure 1.3: Unique mobile users and mobile phones in use (World 2010-2012) 5
Figure 1.4: Handset sales by technology and by region (World 2012) 6
Figure 1.5: Handset sales by connectivity technology (2007-2012) 7
Figure 1.6: Range versus throughput for wireless communication technologies 8
Figure 1.7: Handset shipments by segment and price range (World 2010-2012) 15
Figure 1.8: Mobile handset form factors 16
Figure 1.9: Smartphone shipments by primary input mechanism (World 2007-2012) 17
Figure 2.1: Mobile phone hardware and software platforms 24
Figure 2.2: Common chipset host interfaces 27
Figure 2.3: Handset semiconductor revenues by company (2012) 30
Figure 2.4: Cellular and connectivity chipset revenues (2009-2012) 31
Figure 2.5: Handset connectivity chipset market shares by revenues (2009-2012) 33
Figure 2.6: Key wireless IC and handset platform vendors 34
Figure 3.1: Current and planned Galileo and GPS signals 52
Figure 3.2: Mobile network location system overview 54
Figure 3.3: Assisted GPS technologies 57
Figure 3.4: GNSS chipset developers and offerings 62
Figure 3.5: GNSS IC vendor market shares, GSM/HSPA/LTE handsets (2007-2012) 63
Figure 4.1: Examples of Bluetooth profiles 72
Figure 4.2: IEEE 802.11 WLAN standards 74
Figure 4.3: Examples of WLAN Ics for mobile phones in production (Q2-2013) 78
Figure 4.4: WLAN-enabled handset shipments by standard (World 2006-2012) 79
Figure 4.5: WLAN IC vendor market shares (2006-2012) 80
Figure 4.6: NFC solution architectures in handsets 84
Figure 4.7: Examples of NFC controllers and combo chipsets by vendor 85
Figure 4.8: NFC controller vendor market shares (2009-2012) 86
Figure 4.9: SEI-TSM deployments (World Q1-2013) 89
Figure 4.10: Examples of commercially available NFC-enabled handsets (Q2-2013) 90
Figure 4.11: Number of NFC handsets available on the market by year (2010-2013) 91
Figure 4.12: NFC handset vendor market shares (2010-2012) 92
Figure 4.13: Examples of wireless charging-enabled handsets (Q1-2013) 96
Figure 4.14: Overview of handset connectivity chipset vendor offerings 97
Figure 5.1: Smartphone shipments by vendor and OS (World 2012) 109
Figure 5.2: Handset vendor market shares and revenues (2012) 112
Figure 5.3: Examples of best-selling smartphones (2012) 114
Figure 5.4: Apple handset sales and market share 115
Figure 5.5: BlackBerry handset sales and market share 117
Figure 5.6: HTC handset sales and market share 118
Figure 5.7: Huawei handset sales and market share 119
Figure 5.8: LG handset sales and market share 121
Figure 5.9: Motorola handset sales and market share 122
Figure 5.10: Nokia handset sales and market share 124
Figure 5.11: Samsung handset sales and market share 126
Figure 5.12: Sony Mobile Communication handset sales and market share 128
Figure 5.13: ZTE handset sales and market share 129
Figure 6.1: Handset sales by region (2008-2017) 139
Figure 6.2: Handset shipments by air interface technology (World 2011-2017) 140
Figure 6.3: Handset shipments by segment and price range (World 2011-2017) 141
Figure 6.4: GNSS attach rate forecast by handset segment (World 2011-2017) 143
Figure 6.5: GNSS-enabled handset shipments by region (2011-2017) 144
Figure 6.6: WLAN attach rate forecast by handset segment (World 2011-2017) 146
Figure 6.7: NFC handset shipment forecast (World 2011-2017) 148
Figure 6.8: GNSS chipset revenues by category (World 2011-2017) 150
Figure 6.9: Bluetooth, WLAN and NFC chipset revenues (World 2011-2017) 152

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