From enabling two-way communication during the Second World War to now becoming a fixture in public safety communications, the retail sector, and in recreational activities, handheld transceivers-more commonly referred to as walkie-talkies-have evolved considerably in terms of both technology and application. This explains why, from being a niche segment, walkie-talkies have now become the product of choice for short-range communication, especially so in the absence of a cellular signal.
Although relatively new on the scene, wearable digital walkie-talkies market have for the most part replaced conventional, analog walkie-talkies. Their demand is expected to rise further on account of many new emerging applications, especially as consumers increasingly embrace wearable electronics.
Larger Wearable Electronics Trend will Rub Off on Wearable Digital Walkie-Talkie Market
The tremendous growth prospects of wearable digital walkie-talkies can be gauged from analysts’ projections that the market will post a CAGR of 32.6% (in revenue terms) between 2015 and 2021. Factors such as greater spending power of consumers and a soaring interest in wearable electronics will chiefly be responsible for higher sales of walkie-talkies globally. About 80.0 thousand units of wearable digital walkie-talkies are expected to be produced globally by 2015.
Walkie-talkies are extensively used in the retail sector, especially in sprawling malls and in warehouses, to help employees communicate instantly with each other. With malls and retail parks mushrooming rapidly in emerging economies, companies will find lucrative opportunities in the retail industry. Wearable digital walkie-talkies, however, will need to become more and more compact and interoperable with other devices if they are to sustain long-term growth, observe analysts.
Companies that currently rake in substantial revenue in the wearable digital walkie-talkie market are: AWIRE Technology Corp., STARNEX Co. Ltd., Theatro, OrionLabs, Inc.
Demand for Wearable Digital Walkie-Talkies in Consumer Applications will Shape the Market
The use of low radio frequency walkie-talkie devices is expected to see a spike because these are not strictly governed by regulatory mandates, unlike other high radio frequency communication devices. Even as the market grows to an estimated US$43.5 mn by 2021, a myriad of consumer applications will have a crucial role to play in this growth story. The use of walkie-talkies is extensively seen in the entertainment and recreation industries, the tourism sector, training institutions, and in the retail sector. The public sector (law enforcement and military), is the other major application area of walkie-talkies.
However, the importance of market players concentrating their R&D and marketing efforts on the consumer segment becomes clear when the following fact is considered: About 90% of the wearable digital walkie-talkie market will be dominated by the consumer segment. The public segment, on the other hand, will constitute a meager 9% of the market through 2021.
Moreover, developments in the wearable electronics industry will also shape the future of the global market for wearable digital walkie-talkies. For instance, the Apple watch features a walkie-talkie mode that allows two Apple watch users to wirelessly communicate with one another. Competing smartwatch brands will likely follow suit, and this could be yet another path-altering driver for the wearable digital walkie-talkie market globally.
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