USB, short for universal serial bus, is an industry standard that defines the cable, connector, and communication protocols stated for connection, communication, and power supply between computers and other electronic devices. USB effectively replaced a variety of earlier interfaces such as serial and parallel ports as well as separate power chargers for portable devices. Another notable feature is the multitude of transfer modes it facilitates, which supports controlled, continuous, bulk, and isochronous transfers. They allow consumers to connect up to 127 devices, either directly or through the use of a USB hub. Moreover, these devices are much faster since they support data transfer rates of 12 Mbps for disk drives and other high-speed throughput and 1.5 Mbps for devices which need less bandwidth. Important benefits which have encouraged their mass adoption over the years include the ease with which they can be used, portability, convenience, widespread compatibility, higher read and write speed, interoperability across all platforms, and improvements in security in the form of password protection or encryption/decryption.
The USB device market has been experiencing massive expansion in the recent years owing to the technology’s numerous applications, ease of development, and manufacturing of custom products. Also, demand for better connectivity performance between electronic devices and advanced peripherals is boosting the sales of USB devices. In terms of technological advancements, the recent revision of USB standard “USB 3.0” facilitates faster transfer rates, superior power management capabilities, and higher maximum bus power which has been a prominent contributing factor to this market’s success. However, security issues and difficulties in replacing old USB standards with new ones is limiting the market. Several developments in this field and emerging markets in Asia are introducing new opportunities for industry participants/ manufacturers. Moreover, the launch of USB 3.1 standard and the ever-increasing need for wireless USB devices in the automotive industry are expected to drive the market in the future.
The global USB devices market is segmented based on its device standard type into the USB 1.0, USB 2.0, and USB 3.0 categories. Among these, USB 3.0 standard is dominating the market driven by its capability to provide data transfer rates of 1.25 Gbps to a maximum of 5 Gbps, which is over 10 times faster than the 480 Mbps speed offered by USB 2.0. Applications of the USB device include computer peripherals, laptops, mass storage devices, cameras, telephones, audio devices, and others. In terms of geography, the global market is distributed over Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. Among these, Europe leads the market, due to the mounting demand for machine-to-machine (M2M) communication modules in the automotive telematics segment caused by telematics initiatives undertaken by OEM automakers and government-led programs in the region. Asia Pacific is predicted to experience swift growth in the next few years as well, due to the steady economic growth, escalating consumption of computing devices, proliferation of smartphones and tablets, and adoption of USB devices for storing, transferring, and sharing content in the region, particularly China and India.
The global USB device market is highly competitive in nature and marked with the presence of several international and domestic key players. Top companies include Corsair Memory, Inc., ADATA Technology Co., Ltd., Hewlett-Packard Development Company, SanDisk Corporation, Kingston Technology Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, Samsung Corporation, Micron Consumer Products Group Inc., Verbatim Americas LLC, Imation Corporation, and Transcend Information Inc.
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