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Frost & Sullivan's Latest Headset Research

My colleagues Alaa Saayed and Francisco Rizzo recently wrapped up their latest study on the global professional headset market. Here are some highlights:

* The contact center and office (CC&O) headset market bounced back in 2010 after a few years of decline. Global revenue in 2010 was US$788.9 million, a 19.5 percent increase from 2009.

* In 2010, North America and Latin America (NALA) accounted for 62.1 percent of the global headset market, followed by Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with 31 percent, and Asia Pacific (APAC) with 6.9 percent.

* Frost & Sullivan estimates that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the forecast period (2011-2017) will be 10.7 percent (in terms of revenue).

* Throughout this period, APAC will be the fastest-growing region, with 18.1 percent growth (in terms of revenue), followed by NALA, with 10.8 percent, and EMEA with 8.8 percent.


* Headset vendors are beginning to differentiate UC headset sales from traditional headset sales. Frost & Sullivan estimates that approximately 10 percent of CC&O headset revenue in 2010 came from UC headset sales.

* The largest growth opportunity for headsets is in the office space, with a CAGR of 13.3 percent (in terms of revenue) throughout the forecast period. The contact center space will continue to grow but more slowly, with a CAGR of 6.3 percent.

* The contact center segment is almost 100 percent saturated, while headset penetration in the office space is only seven percent worldwide.

* The split between wireless and corded headset units shipped is 30 percent versus 70 percent, respectively. However, this ratio is expected to change in favor of wireless by 2017, when it will be approximately 55 percent cordless versus 45 percent corded.

* There have been no changes over the past year in terms of market leadership. Plantronics continues to be the global CC&O headset market leader, with 60 percent of the market, followed by GN Netcom, with 29 percent.