ABI Research has published new findings that show 49 million mobile broadband modems were shipped worldwide during the first half of 2012. Most were included in USB models, while others were ‘embedded’ in laptops or other consumer electronics devices. Overall, 62% of shipments were USB modems
However, total first half shipments were down for the first time since USB mobile data ‘dongles’ were created, suggesting that shipments of these USB modems may have peaked. In addition, Japan’s mobile network operators added more customers last year on mobile WiFi hotspot devices than on USB modems.
Jeff Orr, senior practice director at ABI Research, said “Whether this is another example of a tough economic year for PCs or the start of a change in modem form-factor trends, USB modems have been the leading force behind mobile broadband modem shipments since 2006. Prolonged LTE network launches and tighter consumer budgets have hindered expected modem upgrades for 4G networks. Total 2012 mobile broadband modem shipments are estimated to reach 108 million.
Huawei remained the leading manufacturer, responsible for shipment of over 50% of all mobile broadband modems and almost 65% of all USB modems during H1 2012. The embedded modem module market was dominated by Apple, which had a 65% share thanks to its mobile-enabled iPads.