MTA: So what are electronics buyers investing in?

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

10 Responses

  1. Christopher says:

    Deconstructing the pie chart gives the following: approximate information.
    Alternative power generation=10.8%
    Electrical subsystems=10.8%
    General purpose electronic hardware=9.9%
    Multi-function displays [MFD]=9.6%
    NMEA 2000=9.5%
    Third-party software packages=9.3%
    This means there is a 14% spread between the largest and the smallest segments–not much differentiation based on consumer spending plans.
    There is a noticeable break between EPIRB and GPEH however, it is barely one standard deviation, and so it may be a distinction without difference.
    If this were a company portfolio of lines of business, from what I see here, I would ditch WiFi and Third Party Software as lines of business, but not because of their spending predictions.
    WiFi is too easily jerked around by large provider decisions and the business model is still ugly for the non-business user who has no one to pass costs on to. Smartphones are also a disruptive technology where WiFi is concerned. A year of unlimited data via cellular can still cost about the same as the marina-days of paid WiFi associated with a year on the water and offers better security. If one needs the cellular data plan anyway, why mess with WiFi? Also, margins here don’t look so hot (unless you are providing a paid WiFi hot-spot which is a cash cow).
    Third party software (almost) always has great margins, sometimes well into the 90% range, but here, good enough is good enough and feature creep is delivering increasingly complex and complicated solutions. Also smartphones and apps are a disruptive technology that would make me quite leery of investing in another mega-suite PC/MAC based package for boat owners. Clearly, there are some harvestable niches, particularly those enabled by NMEA 2000 data flows, but as soon as NMEA starts porting reliably to smartphones, I suspect Apps on Tablets (the new MFD?) will rule.
    Just some thoughts. I’m a data junkie…

  2. John says:

    This is strange, no mention of the thermal imaging camera? I wonder what value FLIR saw in Raymarine and if thermal cameras will ever be in the top 10 technologies found on a pleasure boats? I attended a Raymarine function at a boat show and remember reading an article where FLIR were convinced that Thermal Imaging cameras would fit between GPS Plotters and sounders as a must have on every boat so that’s why I find it strange that even WiFi and 3rd part navigation software makes the list ahead of night vision? Do you think the FLIR guys know something we don’t?

  3. John says:

    I’m not sure what all the fuss is about WiFi. I purchased an Ericsson W25 with a marine antenna and I have great WiFi connectivity on my boat. I’m connected to 3G data on my laptop, smartphone and iPad, no problem. The data card is an addition to my cell phone account and I get a few Gigs of data for $10 a month. I’ve been running a demo version of maxSea Time Zero and downloading weather files, surfing the internet, logging into muy company server, Skype etc….it’s great! There is also a very good 3G booster manufactured by Quantel:

  4. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    As a prior participant in the survey, where can we go to see the definitions of these areas (e.g. Alternative Power subsystems vs. Electrical Sub systems vs. general purpose electronic sub systems )?

  5. Bremer Speck says:

    John, I am considering the W35 and just now learned about the Shakespeare Cruise Net Cn-1200-A (for ATT).
    Street price of the W35 is $350 vs. Shakespeare $1200
    What kind of range do you see with the Ericsson when offshore? Thanks, Ronald

  6. Jim Hebert Jim Hebert says:

    That pie-chart looks like all divisions are equal. That makes me wonder if there is any statistical significance to the survey answers.

  7. John says:

    Hi Bremer, I received my WiFi advice from a friend who is the superintendent for an offshore supply company who run a dozen support tugs out of the NW coast of Australia. He said that the W35 has terrible connectors and it overheats so they swopped all their WiFi W35 routers out for the W25’s. I just followed his advice and also installed a CDMA whip antenna manufactured by ZCG (model AN1600). I do not sail too far off the coast so I’ve never been without coverage when I’ve needed it but I think the commercial users get pretty far from the nearest tower. I will ask the question and post his reply here.

  8. mta1 says:

    Good morning PANBO.
    Christopher and Jim Hebert are correct to call into question the significance of the chart.
    The technologies listed are the 10 technologies with the highest rate of citation for expected investment in 2011 or 2012. That is accurate.
    However, the data shown is not the number of respondents who stated that they would be investing. The data shown is the total number of respondents to the question — regardless of their answer. And the survey produced somewhere between 747 at the low end and 857 at the high end. This is a simple of case of charting the wrong column (total respondents to the question) not the correct column (only respondents stating they will be investing).
    The more powerful data would have been to show the number of respondents that cited they would be investing in each technology. In that case, you would see a very different pie chart, and a much broader range of ‘divisions’.
    Among the top ten technologies most often cited for investment in 2011 and 2012:
    1. The #1 most often cited: 55.8% of 802 or 439
    2. The #10 most often cited: 29.3% of 747 or 219
    Thank you to both of you for pointing this out.
    With an average of 800 total respondents for each of these top ten technologies, we think the data is a pretty solid.
    We hope you agree. Thank you.

  9. mta1 says:

    Good morning PANBO.
    John asked about thermal imaging.
    We tested for more than 60 different marine electronics technologies. This post shows only the top ten most often cited for investment by the survey respondents.
    Thermal imaging was not among the top ten.
    Where was it? About 2/3 of the way down the list with 19% stating they would be investing in thermal imaging solutions in 2011 or 2012. While 19% may seem a little low, approximately 90% of those buyers were not currently operating thermal imaging.
    Thermal imaging looks like a smaller, but we think rapidly growing market segment.
    Regarding FLIR’s acquisition of Raymarine: MTA’s condensed view is that while strong thermal imaging growth looks likely, we think the deal was probably as much about FLIR expanding its technical footprint with Raymarine offerings as it was expanding FLIR’s served available market (SAM) for its thermal imaging offerings.
    Thank you.

  10. mta1 says:

    Good morning PANBO.
    Dan asked for some definitions. Here you go:
    1. Alternative power subsystems examples include fuel cells, solar cells, wind microturbines
    2. Electrical subsystems examples include power supplies, UPS, transformers, inverters, converters, switches, relays
    3. General purpose electronic systems examples include marine application optimized servers, storage, switches
    Hope this helps. If you would like more, please email [email protected]
    Thank you.

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