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2015-01-27
The installed base of fleet management systems in China will reach 5.9 million units by 2019
According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, the number of active fleet management systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets in China was 2.1 million in Q4-2014. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.9 percent, this number is expected to reach 5.9 million by 2019. Track & trace systems dominate the market and the installed base so far includes a significant share of low-end systems with comparatively limited functionality by Western standards. The steep growth anticipated in the upcoming years is expected to be driven by a combination of political decisions to track selected commercial vehicles and the booming e-commerce market which creates demand for efficient transport operations. A range of different players are active on the Chinese fleet management market. Top local telematics providers with installed bases of more than 100,000 units include E6GPS and Etrans. Other major vendors are for example Beijing Zhongdou Technology (Ccompass), Shenzhen Huabao Electronics Technology, Shenzhen Weitongda Electronics and 666GPS. Also a number of Chinese commercial vehicle OEMs have introduced telematics systems. Examples include Foton and Shaanxi Automobile Group in the truck segment as well as Yutong and King Long Group in the bus segment. The latter is also known as the Three Dragons and includes the brands King Long, Golden Dragon and Higer which are all active in the telematics space. Only a few international aftermarket solution providers have so far entered the Chinese FMS market and the installed bases of the foreign vendors remain limited. “Most Western players present in China have installed no more than a few thousand units on this market”, according to the report’s lead author Jan Unander. Examples of international fleet management providers active on the Chinese market include Trimble, MiX Telematics, Microlise and Navman Wireless. “There are regulatory hurdles for foreign players related to maps, data handling and SaaS models”, said Mr. Unander. He adds that these issues are expected to remain in the upcoming years. Berg Insight nevertheless expects that there are promising future business opportunities for Western fleet management providers on the fast-growing Chinese telematics market.

2015-01-12
The number of homes with smart thermostats doubled in 2014
According to a new research report from Berg Insight, the number of North American and European homes with a smart thermostat grew by 105 percent to 3.2 million in 2014. The North American market recorded a 107 percent growth in the installed base of smart thermostats to 2.5 million. In Europe, the total number of homes with a smart thermostat grew by 96 percent year-on-year to reach 0.7 million. Berg Insight forecasts that the number of homes with smart thermostats in Europe and North America will grow at a CAGR of 64.2 percent during the next five years to reach 38.2 million in 2019. North America will remain the largest market at the end of the forecast period with 24.6 million homes that have smart thermostats, whereas the installed base in Europe is expected to reach 13.6 million homes. Smart thermostats is a particularly attractive opportunity in the smart home market, as these systems are of great interest for consumers, energy companies and HVAC service providers. Consumers embrace smart thermostats primarily due to the potential for energy savings, increased comfort and convenience. For energy companies, smart thermostats open up new possibilities to introduce consumer-friendly demand response and energy efficiency programmes. These programmes can enable significant capital savings as lower peak load can reduce expenditures on reserve power generation and the need to purchase energy on the spot market. Adding intelligence to residential heating and cooling systems furthermore opens up new opportunities for HVAC service providers. Predictive maintenance and remote diagnostics can allow repair and maintenance activities to be streamlined and conducted more efficiently. The North American smart thermostat market is led by Nest, Honeywell and Ecobee that each has sold hundreds of thousands of thermostats, primarily through the retail, utility and professional installer channels. These companies are joined by vendors such as Radio Thermostat Company of America and RCS that have gained traction especially in the whole-home system channel through partners such as ADT, Vivint and Alarm.com. Other contenders on the North American market include Emerson, Lennox, Quirky, Trane and Venstar. In Europe, the leading smart thermostat vendor is eQ-3, whose smartphone-controlled radiator thermostats have been installed in more than 0.3 million homes. Other successful initiatives include the smart thermostat solutions offered by the energy companies British Gas in the UK and Eneco in the Netherlands. British Gas’ Hive solution had approximately 0.14 million users at the end of 2014, whereas Eneco had signed up around 0.1 million users for the Toon solution. Other participants in the European smart thermostat market include Climote, Danfoss, Heatapp, Heat Genius, Honeywell, Ngenic, Nest, RWE and Tado.

2014-12-23
The number of smart homes in Europe and North America reached 10.6 million in 2014
According to a new research report from Berg Insight, the number smart homes in Europe and North America reached 10.6 million in 2014. The North American market recorded a 70 percent year-on-year growth in the installed base of smart homes to 7.9 million at the end of the year. This corresponds to 6.0 percent of the households in the region and places North America as the most advanced smart home market in the world. The strong market growth is expected to last for years to come, driving the number of smart homes in North America to 38.2 million by 2019, which corresponds to 28 percent of all households. The European market is 2–3 years behind North America in terms of penetration and market maturity. At the end of 2014, there were 2.7 million smart homes in Europe and the market is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 61 percent in the next five years to reach 29.7 million smart homes by 2019, which corresponds to 13 percent of all European households. The most successful products on the smart home market include smart thermostats, security systems, smart light bulbs, network cameras and multi-room audio systems from vendors such as Nest, Ecobee, eQ-3, ADT, Vivint, Philips, LIFX, D-Link and Sonos. Point solutions of this type – products that have been designed for one specific functionality – outsold the more comprehensive whole-home systems by a factor of six to one in 2014 and stood for 59 percent of the total smart homes revenues in Europe and North America. Point solutions have previously been lacking interoperability and customers that were looking for more comprehensive home automation have had to choose a whole home system from the start. “Several new initiatives such as Apple’s HomeKit, AllSeen Alliance’s AllJoyn, Works with Nest and IFTTT will change this so that users now instead can start with a point solution and later expand into a whole-home system simply by adding compatible products” said Lars Kurkinen, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. This new trend is anticipated to allow a larger number of people to experience the benefits of whole-home systems at an earlier stage, which will catalyse the development of the whole market.

2014-12-21
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2015!
This year has been another successful year for Berg Insight thanks to our fantastic clients and partners. We have until today served more than 750 clients in 69 countries. We are working all days before year-end so you are welcome to take the last opportunity to invest in our research using this year’s budget.

2014-12-18
Location platform revenues will grow to € 470 million worldwide in 2020
According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, the global market for mobile location platforms will show steady growth in the next few years. Total location platform revenues are expected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 11.5 percent between 2013 and 2020, reaching € 470 million at the end of the forecast period. Much of the growth is expected to come from the emerging commercial indoor location segment, while the market for location platforms deployed by mobile operators is maturing. Annual revenues for GMLC/SMLC and A-GNSS servers, passive location platforms, as well as middleware deployed by mobile operators are forecasted to grow from € 200 million in 2013 to € 300 million in 2020. “Mobile operators deploy new location platforms and upgrade existing systems mainly to comply with public safety and lawful intercept regulations that are gradually being introduced worldwide,” said André Malm, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. These platforms can also enable commercial location-based services (LBS). He adds that a growing number of mobile operators are also deploying passive location methods that enable mass location of handsets without overloading the network. Mobile operators are starting to explore opportunities to extract more value from location data gathered from their networks in areas such as network optimisation, customer experience management, mobile marketing and analytics. However, most consumer and enterprise LBS now use location data obtained directly from GPS or Wi-Fi in handsets and will therefore have a limited impact on location platform market growth. A broad set of actors are developing indoor location technologies that enable use-cases ranging from emergency call location to commercial applications like navigation, customer engagement and analytics. “The commercial indoor location market is still at a relatively early stage and has not yet reached mass adoption,” said Mr. Malm. “The market has suffered from a lack of cross-platform solutions and confusion among venue owners over which platforms and technologies to use”. Understanding of the value of indoor location and analytics services is now growing among retailers and venue owners, at the same time as uncertainty over which technologies to deploy decreases. “Remaining challenges to solve include how to motivate end-users to download the venue owner’s app, as well as how to bring customer value that encourages continued use of the app on a regular basis” concluded Mr Malm.

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