Shipments of SIM cards are expected to reach 3.8 billion this year, according to new figures from ABI Research.
The analyst firm said in the World Market for SIM Cards report that the market will grow by 10 per cent this year on the back of soaring tablet, smartphone, notebook and netbook sales.
The growth shows that more people are buying mobile phones, but also that mobile-to-mobile (M2M) is becoming an increasingly important technology.
"The ramping up of M2M deployments has started. Automotive and smart metering lead the way, with future potential in areas such as tele-health," said principal ABI analyst John Devlin.
"Additionally, the variety of devices integrating mobile connectivity is growing. E-readers, tablets, netbooks, laptops, portable navigation devices and gaming devices are all becoming increasingly connected, and will offer enhanced functionality as 4G networks deliver greater bandwidth and multimedia streaming capabilities."
ABI predicted that growth will increase as more operators add branded services delivered via SIM cards. Innovation will become increasingly important, according to the report, as mobile operators compete against companies already offering well-received mobile apps and software.
"SIM cards offer operators a direct presence with the end user, and it makes sense that service providers will take advantage of the increased level of functionality, performance and security," said Devlin.
"With handset manufacturers and companies such as Google offering their own portals and services directly to end users, operators need to be able to compete."
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