While Apple’s iBeacon technology might not necessarily be as widely heralded compared to Apple’s other products and services, like the iPhone, iPad, Siri, and so on, it has quietly been gaining a fair amount of traction, to the point where ABI Research believes that come 2019, Apple would have shipped over 60 million iBeacon devices across the US.
For those wondering about the iBeacon technology, it’s basically where venues can install the technology and have it interact with smartphones whenever the person approaches it and is within proximity. For example we’ve seen how the iBeacon technology has been used in scavenger hunt games, and we’ve also seen how some supermarkets plan to use the technology to broadcast certain deals about certain products as customers step into the premises.
Interestingly enough despite ABI Research’s positive outlook about the technology, they also mention that due to prices starting to drop, Apple might only be able to expect $500 million in hardware revenue over the next few years since they themselves aren’t making the hardware. The research also points out possible competition that could offer extended capabilities with lower profit margins.
According to ABI’s senior analyst, Patrick Connolly, “It may surprise many to see that retail is the smallest market covered in the report. In building terms, many stores are relatively small in comparison to a corporate office or hospital, while the items being tracked i.e. consumers, are already BLE-enabled through their smartphones, further limiting the number of beacons required.”