There will be 2.5 billion connected data-centric devices in use worldwide by 2014, according to the latest research findings from ABI Research
Almost 1.5 billion of those devices, according to the research will not include handsets since many other wirelessly connected devices including laptops, netbooks, e-readers and others are increasing in popularity.
This growth also means good news for OEM and retail MVNOs as ABI expects OEMs and large retailers selling these products to become major providers of the cellular connectivity they use over the next few years.
“Carriers tell us they view the wireless connectivity business model for these emerging devices as murky,” senior analyst Mark Beccue said.
Because carriers are keen on selling connectivity wholesale, retailers and OEMs can become primary service providers to their customers.
The report, “Mobile Data Device and Service Retail Trends” shows that the change has begun already with both TomTom and Garmin (News
) signing partnerships with AT&T. These agreements will allow them to sell the connectivity for their navigation devices. ABI also noted Japan HP is selling a netbook and wireless service provider for this device.
ABI Research (News
) notes that by 2014, North America will provide as much as one third of the 595 million expected mobile data connections.
Also, the research firm said it expects Best Buy to become a wireless data connectivity MVNO due to its annual turnover of $40 billion and a growing mobile business.
“Data plans offered by retailers and OEMs will focus on pay-as-you-go services or on models like that of Amazon’s Kindle, where the connectivity cost is built into the price of the content,” Beccue said.
Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha’s article, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi