Wi-Fi pushes its way into more devices

on January 25 2010 11:18 AM

From Blackberry's to televisions, more and more devices are including wireless technology to connect the devices to the Internet.

In 2009, worldwide shipments of integrated Wi-Fi technology increased approximately 28 percent compared to 2008, according to data from ABI Research. Total revenue achieved an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18 percent between 2009 and 2014.

Despite the uncertain macroeconomic situation, total market demand for Wi-Fi [integrated circuits] is expected to keep growing says industry analyst Celia Bo. The demand for Wi-Fi ICs in mobile devices and consumer electronic devices are the two key engines for Wi-Fi IC's market growth.

In recent years almost all laptops, netbooks, MIDs and smartbooks have shipped with Wi-Fi embedded, a trend that will continue for some time to come.

Wi-Fi IC placement in mobile handsets grew by more than 50 percent in 2009 and Wi-Fi-enabled handsets will account for 40 percent of the total of handsets shipped in 2014.

Beyond the already established segments, portable media players with Wi-Fi have also seen strong growth which will continue through 2014.

Non-traditional consumer devices are starting to bundle the technology as well, such as digital still cameras, digital camcorders, TVs, DVD players, set-top boxes  are adopting Wi-Fi.

The total shipments of Wi-Fi-enabled consumer electronic devices increased 33 percent in 2009 compared to 2008; the products with fastest-growing attach rates are digital camcorders, TVs, and set-top boxes.

The most significant variation in Wi-Fi enabled products is the protocol type of the embedded Wi-Fi, adds practice director Philip Solis.

802.11g has had the highest attach rate over the past few years, accounting for 50 percent of total Wi-Fi IC shipments in 2009. But 802.11n revenue surpassed that of 802.11g in 2009 as a result of higher ASPs; and 802.11n shipments will surge ahead of 802.11g starting this year. Between 2009 and 2014, unit shipment CAGR is forecast to reach 41 percent.

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