Due to the global economic situation, USB WAN dongles outsell embedded WAN modems by the factor of three.
The global economic slowdown has had an impact on the future growth of embedded modem modules as customers have lengthened upgrade and replacement buying cycles. As a result, inexpensive USB wide area network (WAN) modems are currently much more popular than integrated WAN modems as more people want to upgrade existing devices to WAN support rather than get new systems.
According to ABI Research, embedded module shipments are not forecast to exceed USB modem shipments within the next five years, as USB “dongles” continue to go from strength to strength and average selling prices hold steady. Currently, USB configurations are outselling embedded modems by a ratio of more than three to one. By 2016, however, that ratio will be more like 1.2:1.
“Media tablets had a significant positive impact on embedded module shipments last year, with Apple coming out as the new leader for 3G modules. But embedded modules will likely falter this year as the tablet vendors look to drive prices down by foregoing add-ons including 3G/4G modems," said Jeff Orr, a senior practice director at ABI Research.