A docking station is a single device that helps connect electronic gadgets to various peripheral devices. This makes docking stations high on the utility quotient, and the wider acceptance of the BYOD culture has given the global docking stations market a lift. Consumers today want to extract the maximum value from their electronic gadgets and gizmos, creating a lucrative space that can be filled in by docking stations. An increased emphasis on mobility has been yet another key aspect contributing to the growth of the global docking stations market.
The docking station market is on course to steady growth, with market analysts pegging its compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) at 5.3% between 2014 and 2020, by which year, docking stations are expected to constitute a US$ 6.02 Bn market.
Why the Docking Station Market Has Shifted From Serving Music Lovers to Tech Enthusiasts
Until a few years ago, the majority of the consumers in the docking station market were music enthusiasts who purchased these devices to hook their MP3 players while listening music on the go. That was then. The sheer convenience offered by docking stations has gradually made them an electronic device that fulfils the needs of not just music lovers, but anyone who uses electronics such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and music players. The need to extend the functionality of electronic gadgets has been the greatest factor driving this change. For example, a laptop placed in a docking station can be connected to a mouse, a monitor as well as a speaker all at once. For people who want to experience the best of portability as well as the convenience of a desktop device, this arrangement has been a boon.
These changes in consumer preferences have greatly fuelled the global docking station market’s growth.
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How Market Players Are Responding with Technological Improvements
Sales of consumer electronics have skyrocketed in the last decade and this has caused a spike in the average electronic device ownership numbers worldwide. To meet the ever-increasing need for mobility, tech majors released wireless versions of docking stations. A case in point would Dell, who launched the Dell Wireless Dock D5000, which carries the capability to connect a keyboard, two separate monitors, a mouse, hard drives, numerous USB devices, as well as gigabit Ethernet.
In fact, with the launch of the wireless docking station, the docking station market turned a corner. It is only a matter of time before docking stations with wires become obsolete. This change is also a signal for companies in the docking station market to tweak product design and offer options that are in line with the technological improvements in the consumer electronics industry.
The other emerging trend is a burgeoning interest in smartphone PCs – regular smartphones that can be placed into a docking station to function like a desktop computer.
Increasing Use of Docking Stations Is Being Seen in Automobiles
Converting their portable devices into personal computers has never been easier for consumers. Now, in-vehicle docking stations are poised to take this convenience to a whole new level. The growth of the automotive industry has spurred innovation in the in-vehicle docking station market. There are ample examples that testify this: Air Dock’s wireless charger, HTC’s car dock, Samsung’s official car docks for its Galaxy series, and more.
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High-end automobile companies have made in-vehicle docking stations a standard feature – Audi, for example, provides in-car docking stations that double up as wireless chargers. Name brands such as Jeep, Toyota and Daimler also feature docking stations.