Om Malik has a post up this morning quoting Infonetics research on the decline of cable modem sales in Q3. The numbers are startling, but it bears looking at a few other data points as well. Motorola, for example, saw modem shipments increase in Q3 to 3.1 million from 2.8 million in the second quarter. And while analyst Jeff Heynan suggests DOCSIS 3.0 rollouts may slow, most recently we’ve seen a ramp-up in deployments from Comcast.
One other thing worth noting, as Verizon found in a recent survey, Americans are planning to stay home more for entertainment, which means more time hooked up to the broadband connection and sitting in front of the TV. Verizon says it has seen strong growth in VOD sales over the last two months, even with the downturn in the economy.
We may be in for tight times ahead, but there are good indicators for the broadband market that shouldn’t be ignored.
UPDATE: The Infonetics report actually references CMTS port shipments, not cable modems. I also heard from Jeff Heynan via email with a little clarification. Here’s what he had to say (emphasis my own):
CMTS downstream port shipments dropped quite a bit in the quarter because the numbers were so high the past two quarters in support of DOCSIS 3.0 deployments. Additionally, the third quarter is typically the slowest for CMTS ports.