According to a report issued by Swedish research firm Berg Insight, shipments are forecasted to reach 700 million units in 2016 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 87.8 percent. The global rise in smartphone adoption is also driving higher attach rates for other wireless connectivity technologies in handsets including GPS, Bluetooth and WLAN. Additionally, declining costs are set to enable broader integration in the feature phone segment that is rapidly gaining smartphone-like functionality.
The report has shown that the attach rate for GPS among GSM/WCDMA/LTE handsets reached 31 percent in 2011 and grew to 38 percent for all air interface standards. Additionally, shipments of WLAN-enabled handsets have doubled annually in the past four years and the attach rate increased to 33 percent in 2011. WLAN connectivity in handsets enables a range of use cases including offloading data traffic from increasingly congested mobile networks, media synchronisation and indoor navigation services. However, periodic calibrations using satellite and wireless network signals are necessary to compensate for the low data accuracy and high drift obtained from low cost sensors used in handsets today.
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