SIMalliance reports 4.2 billion global SIM shipments in 2013

simalliance

London, UK – The SIMalliance membership, which represents approximately 86% of the global SIM market, has reported SIM shipment volumes totaling 4.2 billion units for 2013, compared to 4.6 billion in 2012. The estimated total available market in 2013 was 4.85 billion units, compared to 5.1 billion in 2012.

The 5% reduction in the estimated total available market results from a decline in low-end SIM shipments across Asia – particularly in India – following the introduction of regulation which requires prepaid SIM customers to be formally identified and registered. While the regulation had a notable impact on the market in 2013, the region has adapted swiftly to the new requirements and recovery was evident even in the most affected countries towards the end of the year. The outlook is therefore that the market will return to normal and further growth is anticipated.

Elsewhere around the globe, there has been significant year-on-year growth in SIM shipment volumes:

  • Japan/Korea (+19%)
  • Americas (+11%)
  • MEA (+10%)
  • CIS Republics (+6%)

The primary growth factor in Japan/Korea and the Americas has been a surge in demand for high-end NFC and LTE SIMs, while subscriber acquisition is still fueling growth in some African markets, particularly in sub-Saharan countries.

Globally, year-on-year NFC-enabled SIM shipments, as reported by SIMalliance members, have risen by 159% to 78 million. The strongest NFC market was Japan/Korea (37 million shipments), while North America (24 million shipments) superseded Western Europe as the second largest NFC market in 2013. Market growth for NFC-enabled SIMs was reported across North America, Greater China, Pacific Asia, Japan/Korea and Europe.

2013 was the third consecutive year that significant shipments of NFC-enabled SIMs have been reported by the SIMalliance membership and each year has brought rapid growth across multiple markets; in 2011, there were 16 million shipments of NFC-enabled SIMs, with a further 30 million in 2012. This exponential growth trend is likely to continue in 2014.

With a cumulative total of 124 million NFC-enabled SIM shipments in the past three years, and a growing base of NFC-enabled phones and NFC-ready Point of Sale (POS) terminals, there is now a far-reaching and stable infrastructure in place for the continued roll-out of NFC services globally. IHS Technology recently reported 275 million global shipments of NFC-enabled mobile phones in 2013, with a further 416 million – indicating growth of 50% – forecast to be shipped in 2014, while Berg Insight has estimated that 53% of the world’s POS terminals will be NFC ready by 2017.

Global LTE SIM card shipments also increased in 2013, by 103% to 126 million, thanks to an uplift in volumes throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. North America continues to lead the LTE SIM market with 65 million shipments in 2013, followed by Japan/Korea (27 million) and China (10 million). Continuing migration to LTE and 4G networks worldwide will be a key growth factor for the SIM industry throughout 2014, as older SIM cards in the field are replaced.

While Europe witnessed a nominal 1.5% decline in total shipment volumes throughout 2013, the market reflected the increasing demand for newer SIM form factors, also known as micro and nano SIMs, which was seen universally by each region due to the rising number of smart devices using smaller SIMs. It was also the market primarily responsible for driving a 30% global increase in the number of shipments of soldered SIMs designed specifically for M2M applications, indicating the strong opportunity for future growth of the M2M market, which is not constrained by population penetration rates, in Europe.

Frédéric Vasnier, SIMalliance Chairman (pictured), comments: “While 2013 SIM shipments were affected by prepaid regulation in multiple Asian countries, and most significantly in India, the global picture outside of Asia is actually one of 7% market growth.

“The most positive trend observed globally is the sharp increase in demand for high-end SIM products, particularly against a backdrop of the continuing momentum for NFC service deployments worldwide. With 124m NFC-enabled SIMs shipped in the past three years; the expectation that NFC SIM shipments will continue to rise in all advanced markets in 2014; and a critical mass of NFC-enabled handsets and NFC-ready POS terminals gaining ground, the signal is loud and clear: the infrastructure has been laid for the future mass roll-out of secure SIM-based NFC services. A strong foundation is now in place worldwide and is ready to be utilised by NFC service providers.

“The number one priority of the SIMalliance membership in the coming twelve months will be to support mobile network operators to simplify third party access to their subscribers, via the strong base of NFC-enabled SIMs which are already operational and those that will continue to be proactively deployed to wider subscriber portfolios in the future. The emergence of HCE and the opportunities it brings to the entire NFC ecosystem – as it supports the growth of NFC by making it more accessible and versatile to developers and more familiar to end users – makes the case for easier third party access to NFC SEs even stronger. As demand for secure NFC services grows, the limitations of HCE which make it best suited for use cases where stringent security requirements, optimal transaction speeds and always-available functionality are not mandatory, mean that NFC-enabled SIMs will play a vital role in bringing such secure NFC services to market.

“Finally, it’s also worth noting that the Mobile Connect initiative, announced by the GSMA in February, could have an influential effect on the industry in years to come. The initiative will bring strong identity capabilities to potentially billions of mobile users via their SIMs, reinforcing the added value that hardware-based SEs can deliver relative to advancing security in an increasingly digital world.”

RECENT ARTICLES

Building an intelligent IoT with edge fabric

Posted on: August 18, 2022

As the popularity of Edge technology and smart devices increases, we see that there is no bar when it comes to the quantity of data that companies can use to improve their decision-making process. Contrary to this opportunity, many organisations still limit the quality, variety, and extent of data that they can make use of

Read more

MQTT X CLI makes its debut executing MQTT operations has never been easier

Posted on: August 18, 2022

Morgan Hill, CA – EMQ, a global provider of open-source IoT data infrastructure solutions, this week announced the release of MQTT X v1.8.0 to the general public. This release carries significant improvements and strives to enable IoT developers to execute MQTT operations easily and quickly. Additionally, MQTT X v1.8.0 introduces two powerful tools aimed to

Read more
FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more
IoT Newsletter

Join the IoT Now online community for FREE, to receive: Exclusive offers for entry to all the IoT events that matter, round the world

Free access to a huge selection of the latest IoT analyst reports and industry whitepapers

The latest IoT news, as it breaks, to your inbox