The drive by Apple and Samsung to equip their handsets with the latest sensor technology will lead the market to almost triple between 2012 and 2018, new research has claimed.
According to a report from IHS, the sensor market for smartphones and tablets will hit €5.13 billion by 2018. The market is split in two, with established sensors comprising the likes of motion and light sensors, as well as Mems microphones.
However, the biggest growth will come from the emerging device segment, that includes the likes of fingerprint scanners, optical pulse, humidity and gas. That part of the market will hit sales of €1.82 billion by 2018, up from €19 million in 2012.
Marwan Boustany, IHS Senior Analyst for Microelectomechanical Systems and Sensors, said: "The next wave of sensor technology in smartphones and tablets has arrived. Led by Apple and Samsung, the mobile market is moving beyond simply integrating established devices like motion sensors and now is including next-generation features like fingerprint and environment/health sensors. Adoption of these newer devices will drive the expansion of the mobile sensor device market in the coming years.”
The report follows recent research from the same agency into the wearable sensor market, which will expand sevenfold during the next five years.
Demand for fitness and health monitoring devices will expand the market from 67 million units last year to 466 million in 2019. By that date, the average wearable device will have 4.1 sensors, up from 1.4 last year.
Jérémie Bouchaud, Director and Senior Principal Analyst, MEMS & Sensors, at IHS Technology, said: “The main factor propelling this phenomenon is a transition in market share away from simple products like pedometers and toward more sophisticated multipurpose devices such as smartwatches and smartglasses.
"Instead of using a single sensor like the simpler devices, the more complex products employ numerous components for health and activity monitoring, as well as for their more advanced user interfaces.”