As Wearable Device Market Grows, SIM Card Shipments to Rise by 2020
Some 5.6 billion SIM cards will ship globally by 2020, up from 5.4 billion that shipped in 2015, according to a new report.Even as smartphone sales slow in some markets around the world, global SIM card shipments will continue to rise through 2020, fueled by increases in the number of wearable devices that will be sold by electronics makers, according to a forecast from research firm IHS Technology. SIM card shipments are expected to hit 5.6 billion in 2020, up from 5.4 billion in 2015, due to their use in many wearables, said the report, which was announced on April 13. More SIM cards will ship as smartwatches, health bands, smart glasses, smart clothes and other products increase their sales in the marketplace, presenting a growth area for smart-card suppliers and mobile network operators, according to the forecast.
"There is an interesting move toward wearable devices as companions to smartphones and other mobile devices, such as smartwatches, health bands, glasses and smart clothes, which present a growth area for smart-card suppliers and mobile network operators," Don Tait, senior analyst for IHS Technology, said in a statement. "The rising number of these devices in the market is an opportunity for operators and card suppliers to increase SIM penetration for both pluggable and embedded form factors." Wearable devices that use SIM cards "have the potential to increase mobile network operator (MNO) subscribers, leading to more addressable devices for SIM management and increased revenue streams," the report continues. "Companion devices are expected to spur growth in the SIM card market from 2015 to 2020, according to the IHS Digital Security Intelligence Service." Sales channels and products are expected to evolve and change from 2015 to 2020 as Apple, Samsung and other companies change their business dynamics and models, the report continued.
"The traditional SIM card market is not likely to implode any time soon, because there are still a lot of legacy solutions that need to be catered to; however, if and when manufacturers start changing their business models, we can expect a greater impact on the market," he said.