A surplus supply of wireless download technology was fitted to 16 percent of all video recorders sold in mobile video surveillance markets during 2012, according to a new report entitled ‘The World Market for Mobile Video Surveillance’ from IMS Research, now part of IHS. This is technology that the customer either never intends to use, or doesn’t have the back-end software to support. So does this mean that manufacturers are wasting their money on oversupply?
As part of new research into the market presented in the report, IHS tracked the current adoption rates of wireless download technology across each vertical market – one of the fastest moving trends in mobile video surveillance in the past two years.
“Adoption rates have increased quickly; the technology really suits the usage cases for these larger fleets of trains, buses or police cars,” said David Green, senior analyst for video surveillance at IHS. “Using WiFi for downloading saves time and cost for the operator, can improve reliability and also offer added value features, such as remote vehicle health-checks.”
In 2012 however, it seems that demand was lagging behind supply. While 45 percent of recorders sold were fitted with WiFi that the customer will use, 16 percent were fitted with technology the customer won’t use – meaning that manufacturers are adding to costs by paying for components that do not need to be fitted.
“In reality, manufacturers won’t be losing out,” Green said. “The 16 percent number might sound a lot in terms of unit shipments, but it’s only a small portion of the revenue. Economies of scale mean the component costs will be low to start with, plus most of the oversupply is coming from recorders made by low-cost, Asian manufacturers. These companies can’t move on price since they’re already at the bottom, so they compete with each other by loading up on features – even though they know the customers won’t use them.
“You take a look at the high-end manufacturers and the level of oversupply is certainly less than 16 percent,” Green noted.
So does that mean the high-end manufacturers have got supply levels right, and do they expect adoption rates to continue increasing at current rates?
“Definitely they see adoption increasing into the future,” Green said. “Mobile video systems are evolving and wireless is a key part of the more intelligent system, linking with back-end software to provide an end-to-end solution. Manufacturers aren’t wasting their money here – and they’ll see the rewards when the market sees a boost in sales over the next couple of years.”
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