u-blox’s H1 2023 Jumps 17% YoY, Expects Slowdown in H2

  • Results driven by design wins in the automotive and industrial application sectors.
  • EMEA had the highest growth in revenue at 31% YoY and surpassed the Americas in terms of contribution.
  • u-blox to experience a reduction in revenue in Q3 2023 and remain sluggish in H2 2023.

Global wireless and positioning technologies leader u-blox’s H1 2023 revenue rose 17% YoY to reach $364.3 million, primarily driven by successful design wins within the automotive and industrial application sectors. However, gains were limited by a decline in consumer revenue.

During u-blox’s earnings call, CEO Stephan Zizala touched upon several important topics like significant design wins, prevailing macroeconomic challenges, and the company’s proactive management strategy for the future.

Macroeconomic Situation and Outlook

CEO: “In a softening macroeconomic and global semiconductor market environment, our order book for H2 2023 developed more slowly than initially anticipated. Mainly due to unfavorable FX rates and overstocking, we expect Q3 revenues and profitability to be weak, with an improvement in Q4.”

Our analyst take: “The IoT module industry is decelerating because of broader macroeconomic conditions and a softening semiconductor market. Key players in the cellular IoT module sector, including Quectel and Telit Cinterion, have witnessed a reduction in growth compared to H1 2022. However, during H1 2023, u-blox achieved significant double-digit expansion, despite significant constraints from the global semiconductor supply chain shortage.”

“However, u-blox is expected to experience a reduction in revenue in Q3 2023 as demand remained weak in the key North American region during H1 2023 and will likely remain sluggish in H2 2023. However, u-blox is optimistic about Q4.”

u-blox revenue by application, H1 2019 - H1 2023Management Strategy

CEO: “While we must deal with cycle adaptation, I remain very confident about u-blox’s long-term outlook and growth trajectory, thanks to our strong structural growth drivers in automotive and industrial target applications. We are winning important new projects at leading customers. A large design win for automated driving ramping in 2026 and an innovative approach for satellite IoT connectivity are testimony to these future development prospects.”

Our analyst take: “The automotive industry is undergoing a significant transformation towards electrification and autonomy. This transition highlights the importance of connectivity and navigation, emerging as crucial factors. u-blox stands out from other GNSS competitors due to its exceptional GNSS quality and centimeter-level precision in positioning.”

“Apart from its focus on GNSS and cellular technology, u-blox’s recent collaborations with satellite player Orbcomm leverage its strides toward present-day trends. The aim is to offer hybrid connectivity solutions (combining cellular and satellite capabilities) catering to agriculture, asset tracking, and maritime applications, promising enhanced coverage and communication. However, u-blox is set to encounter intense competition from Quectel, Fibocom, and Telit Cinterion, as they have already introduced hybrid connectivity modules.”H1 2023 Highlights:

  • u-blox’s gross profit increased 12% YoY in H1 2023 to reach $171 million.
  • The industrial sector accounted for 65% of the total company revenue and experienced a robust 26% YoY growth. This growth was attributed to significant demand in asset tracking applications.
  • The automotive segment also exhibited growth, increasing 24% YoY and accounting for 30% to the overall revenue, driven by the acceleration of electric vehicle adoption and advancements in autonomy.
  • Conversely, the consumer and other segments faced a decline of 55% YoY, accounting for only 5% of the total revenue. This decline was primarily driven by decreased consumer demand starting from mid-2022.
  • Among regions, APAC was the highest contributor, capturing 43% of the market with 30% YoY growth due to demand from automotive customers and safety stock buildup for healthcare customers. EMEA shows the highest growth with 31% YoY and contributed 32% of the market surpassing Americas with a ramp-up of the tracking business and 2022 order backlog. However, the US region’s revenue fell 12% YoY, accounting for only 25% of the market due to demand reduction in healthcare and consumer applications.
  • In H1 2023, modules and chips accounted for 80% and 19% of the total revenue, respectively. Module volume grew 9% YoY growth in H1 2023, while chip volume saw a remarkable increase of 31% YoY.
  • In the module revenue segment, the GNSS module retained its leading position, generating over half of the total revenue. This is attributed to the exceptional quality and precision of u-blox’s GNSS products. The collaboration with GMV resulted in significant design wins, merging u-blox’s GNSS receiver hardware with GMV’s secure correction service, sensor fusion and positioning engine. Furthermore, u-blox has partnered with Position Partners to introduce the PointPerfect GNSS augmentation service to Victoria and New South Wales. This marks the initial phase of the service’s rollout within the Australian and New Zealand markets.
  • In H1 2023, the Wi-Fi/BT module segment grew 10% YoY. u-blox’s latest release, the JODY-W5, introduced the newest dual-band Wi-Fi 6 and dual-mode Bluetooth® 5.3 module, featuring Bluetooth LE audio within a compact form factor. This design is aimed at preventing wireless network congestion within vehicles while simultaneously enhancing audio capabilities.
  • According to Counterpoint Research’s Cellular IoT Module Tracker service, u-blox’s cellular IoT module segment grew 18% YoY in H1 2023 to reach $106 million. u-blox has accelerated its adoption of tracking applications driven by the strong performance of its UBX-R5 chipset-based LPWA and LTE-M modules.


Given the macroeconomic challenges characterized by adverse shifts in FX rates and customer overstocking, u-blox’s market outlook for H2 2023 suggests a substantial deceleration. The rise in inventory levels is expected to lead to a decrease in profitability during Q3 2023, followed by a recovery in Q4 2023. However, the demand and requirements for semiconductor solutions, particularly in domains such as autonomous driving, asset tracking and industrial automation, are poised for substantial growth. u-blox remains strategically positioned to capitalize on this growth trend due to its strong expertise in positioning technology and wireless connectivity, which is expected to result in more design wins.

Related Reports:

u-blox Continues Strong Growth in H1 2022

u-blox recorded an excellent H1 2022 with $311.9 million in total revenues, an increase of 47% from H1 2021 despite macroeconomic headwinds. The demand and interest in u-blox products remained strong across all markets and business segments. The strategy of remodeling and redesigning its products has worked for u-blox in dealing with specific shortages. This time, u-blox changed module design a lot to cut component shortages and clear backlogs.

H1 2022 highlights

  • u-blox’s gross profit increased 53.9% YoY in H1 2022 to reach $152.4 million.
  • The industrial segment captured 61% of the company’s total revenue and grew 62% YoY due to higher demand for automation and healthcare applications. The automotive segment also grew 62% YoY and its revenue contributed 28% to the total revenue. The consumer segment grew 18% YoY and captured 10% of the total revenue. In this segment, the growth mainly came from consumer telematics applications.
  • Americas and APAC regions grew more than 50% YoY while EMEA grew 30%. This growth was driven by industry-focused solutions for automation, mobility, healthcare and network applications. APAC’s growth despite China lockdowns was a testament to u-blox’s strong pipeline of design wins.
  • In the first half of 2022, modules and GNSS chips contributed 81% and 18% of the total revenue respectively. The module volume grew by 34.3% YoY in H1 2022 to reach nearly 27 million.

The ASP of modules and chipsets increased 20% and 46% YoY respectively due to supply chain constraints and product mix-ups.

u-blox H1 2022 financials, Counterpoint

GNSS modules

u-blox’s GNSS module shipments grew 56% YoY in H1 2022, contributing more than half of the total module revenue. The good quality and position accuracy of its GNSS products helped u-blox grow this market significantly. This year, it launched the smallest GNSS module, MIA-M10, with its latest technology targeting size-constrained applications like asset-tracking devices, pet trackers, livestock trackers and wearables. Xiaoan selected the u-blox M10 product to enhance the positioning performance of shared motorcycles and electric bicycles.

Wi-Fi/BT modules

In H1 2022, u-blox’s Wi-Fi/BT module segment grew 24% YoY to reach a revenue of nearly $30 million. In short-range radio modules (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth), u-blox continued to expand its capabilities. It launched Wi-Fi 6-based modules, which are ideal for industrial, smart home and mass-market applications.

Cellular IoT modules

In recent times, we have seen international module players merging their cellular IoT businesses to become more competitive in this space. u-blox is slowly recovering its cellular IoT module business. In H1 2022, u-blox’s cellular IoT module segment grew 36% compared to H1 2021, according to Counterpoint Research’s Cellular IoT Module Tracker Service. u-blox provided flexibility to its customers by launching new products. However, we expect u-blox will focus more on GNSS products and services compared to cellular IoT modules, considering growth opportunities.

GNSS chips

The quality of u-blox’s GNSS chipsets is far better than other players, which is helping u-blox witness continued growth in this market. With the rising demand for positioning and location-based ecosystems, u-blox will be able to record a multi-fold increase in its revenue by targeting applications like passenger and commercial vehicles, asset tracking, micro-mobility, surveillance, industrial and healthcare.

Market outlook

The steady expansion of u-blox’s production capacity and strong bookings resulted in this record revenue in H1 2022. Within the first half of 2022, its order book value doubled compared to the end of 2021, which makes u-blox well-positioned to continue to grow revenues and improve profitability. It is already managing well the supply constraint situation. We expect u-blox’s revenue will grow nearly 50% YoY in 2022.

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Telit’s Acquisitions to Reshape Global IoT Module Market

In recent times, Telit has acquired cellular IoT businesses from Thales and Mobilogix. The IoT module market has started consolidating and we expect to see a few more deals in the coming months. In August, we also saw Semtech acquiring Sierra Wireless to offer complete chip-to-cloud solutions to cover the entire IoT value chain. The back-to-back acquisitions by Telit show how it is trying to become an integrated player. With the Mobilogix acquisition, Telit can offer modules, connectivity, security and management platform to design and manufacturing services. It means Telit will act as a one-stop solution provider for its customers. Here, we will try to analyze what these acquisitions mean to Telit and how they will impact the IoT industry.

Telit-Thales deal

Thales is merging its cellular IoT module business into Telit to form a new entity called Telit Cinterion. Thales will own a 25% stake in the newly formed entity and offer SIM technology and security services for IoT modules.

China dominates the global cellular IoT module market by taking more than 55% share. International players are struggling to compete in the operator- and government-driven China IoT module market.

After its deal with Telit, Thales will enjoy less distraction from its module business and will be able to focus on its core business which includes software, security and services. Thales will still continue to provide eSIM services where it is a market leader.

Global Cellular IoT Module Shipments Share by Vendor, Q1 2022

Telit and Thales Acquisition Opportunity

The newly formed company will have a common R&D platform which will help save resources. In the coming times, we may see Telit Cinterion focusing on the IoT platform business to earn revenue on a recurring basis.

Thales has a strong position in Europe and Japan, whereas Telit has a good presence in North America and Latin America. This complementary relationship supports their dream of becoming the #1 cellular IoT player in the international market. Telit-Thales is already leading in the international IoT module market in terms of revenue. With this merger, Telit Cinterion may overtake Quectel in the international market in terms of shipments in the coming years.

Telit has already divested its automotive business in 2018, but Thales has a good customer base for some European automakers. How the joint venture treats this automotive business will be keenly watched. There is ample opportunity in the automotive business with growing connected and autonomous mobility. With the introduction of 5G, Telit may focus on the automotive segment as the automotive module business contributes higher revenue due to a higher average selling price (ASP).

IoT Module Launch

In recent times, Telit has done a great job launching many new modules. This helps Telit to target new regions depending on available technologies and provides an option for customers to select a product as per their requirements.

Telit-Mobilogix deal

Telit moved to acquire Mobilogix, a decade-old end-to-end IoT hardware, software and cloud solution provider to fulfill its ambition of becoming a more integrated player and one of the largest end-to-end white-label solution providers outside China.

Mobilogix’s comprehensive device engineering expertise and resources, which focus on optimizing the specifications for EMS and ODMs, and attainment of regulatory approvals and carrier certification, will help Telit provide solutions to customers with reduced cost and complexity, and faster time to market.

Furthermore, Mobilogix is known for its expertise in customized IoT projects, which provide businesses with solutions in various application verticals that are ready to certify and mass produce. This will help Telit expand its focus in growing segments such as telematics, micro-mobility, healthcare, construction and agriculture.

Chinese module vendors are trying to become integrated players to capture maximum share across the IoT value chain. Telit is also trying to adopt such a model with these recent acquisitions. For example, Quectel is trying to increase its footprint in the North American market with the establishment of a new ODM company, named Ikotek. Similarly, Fibocom established a new ODM company in 2019 for global customers through applications such as gateway, payment terminal, telematics and industrial applications. Telit is slowly becoming vertically integrated and trying to revive back its glory days in the IoT module market.

Solutions from the combined entity will provide a great choice for customers who want to diversify and do not want to depend on the Chinese ecosystem, and need tightly integrated solution expertise from one provider.

If Telit wants to compete head-to-head with Chinese module giants like Quectel and Fibocom, it has to develop an effective business strategy for each international market.

Mobilogix has a wide range of portfolios comprising custom IoT projects and solution design services based on three basic architectures, namely beacon, power and battery-operated architecture. Apart from this, it also offers cloud platform integration and custom firmware, which will add value to Telit’s portfolio not only from cellular but also from BLE beacon hardware designs.

Mobilogix has a global presence across key regions such as the US, China, India and Latin America. Its presence in China and emerging markets like India will help Telit grow its presence in these key regions.

Telit’s Acquisitions to Reshape Global IoT Module Market


  • Telit is becoming a more integrated player with these acquisitions and moving up the stack to become an end-to-end solution provider. The convenient and comprehensive solutions will add more value to its customers’ IoT project deployments and will be concurrent with its long-term vision of becoming the #1 international module player in terms of both shipments and revenue.
  • The acquisitions will help Telit provide solutions to customers from the design/manufacturing of hardware to cloud and security with regional diversification. This will help Telit cater to more application segments, thus improving both revenue and profitability.
  • However, industry experts will be keenly watching the entire positioning, offering, strategy and business model, which are changing in the IoT space as you need to be a large-scale and end-to-end player to succeed even though it is a blue ocean out there.

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