SIM shipments to reach 6.6 billion in 2017
According to the report, one of the most interesting changes will be in terms of the card form factors. The standard 2FF form factor has dominated the SIM card market for many years now. However, the smaller 3FF form factor has grabbed share during 2011, with nearly 200 million shipments. Further even smaller form factors, such as 4FF, are also forecast to take share during the next five years. The share taken by the traditional 2FF form factor is forecast to have fallen to 60% by 2017.
Embedded form factors are also forecast to see success over the report’s forecast period. This will be particularly driven by industrial M2M devices. “The big question remains as to whether these embedded SIMs will also be used in traditional cellular devices,” says IMS Research.
The product types that drive the SIM market are also forecast to change to some extent over the next five years. Smartphones and traditional cellular handsets have been the primary end-devices for SIM cards historically. Although these are still forecast to drive the bulk of the market, cellular-enabled consumer electronics devices, such as tablets, PCs, USB dongles and cellular-enabled industrial M2M devices (such as utility meters, vehicles, asset tracking devices and EFTPOS) are forecast to be approaching 15% of the market in 2017.