Mobile broadband modems are losing their appeal with consumers

Shipments are expected to decline by 24 percent year on year

The Buzzard 2 is a 4G WiFi in-car device from U.K. operator EE.

The Buzzard 2 is a 4G WiFi in-car device from U.K. operator EE.

If you're using a smartphone as a hotspot, you aren't alone - sales of USB sticks and embedded PC modems are plummeting as a result of that use.

Shipments of these products are expected to decline by 24 per cent by year end, following a 17 per cent drop last year, according to market research company Strategy Analytics, which added that the value of the market has halved since 2010.

Using a smartphone to share an Internet connection is more convenient than having to carry around another device. The drawback is that it drains the battery. The best solution is to whenever possible have the smartphone plugged in while using it as a hotspot.

Modems are just one example in a long line of product categories that have been negatively affected by the growing popularity and functionality of smartphones. Cameras, handheld navigators and portable game consoles have also seen their fortunes wane as smartphones have taken over 70 per cent of total mobile phone shipments.

That smartphones now have an integrated hotspot isn't the only reason sales of modems are suffering. The decline of the PC market has had an adverse effect on shipments, according to Strategy Analytics. The growing screen sizes of smartphones have also made them a better device for accessing the Internet

But all of this doesn't mean that the market is dead. Thanks to the continued growth in Wi-Fi-enabled consumer electronics devices, routers with integrated mobile modems are a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy market, Strategy Analytics said.

Car makers are increasingly looking to integrate routers in their vehicles, for example. Mobile operators also want a piece of the market -- earlier this month U.K. operator EE launched the Buzzard 2, which plugs directly into a car dashboard's 12-volt connection.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags 4g3gtelecommunicationStrategy Analytics

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?