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January 09, 2009

Stats Show Jump in Wi-Fi Chipset Sales in 2008

New statistics released today by the Wi-Fi Alliance and In-Stat indicate a jump in Wi-Fi chipset sales which increased 26 percent in 2008 to 387 million. This increase has been attributed to the strong consumer and enterprise demand for a variety of Wi-Fi-enabled devices, from smart phones to mini notebooks.

Edgar Figueroa, executive director of the Wi-Fi Alliance (News - Alert) noted that in 2008, Wi-Fi solidified its position as an essential technology for the home and the enterprise, and they expect this growth to continue.
“Wi- Fi is a feature that users have come to expect in a wide array of products, and device makers are including Wi-Fi in everything from handsets to mini- notebooks to media players,” said Figueroa.
According to In-Stat (News - Alert), which examined Wi-Fi chipset sales by category, 56 million units of Cellular-Wi-Fi Phones were shipped in 2008. Stationary Consumer Electronic Devices such as gaming consoles, digital televisions, set-top boxes, and printers showed 51 percent increase and the Portable Consumer Electronic Devices were up by 33 percent. Also, 144 million units of Notebook PCs, Mini Notebooks, Ultra Mobile Devices, and Mobile Internet Devices were shipped in the same period.
“Wi-Fi has withstood the current economic conditions better than most other technologies, and we expect to see continued momentum into 2009,” said Victoria Fodale, research analyst at In-Stat.
In the handset category alone, In-Stat expects sales of Wi-Fi enabled handsets to grow almost twice as fast as the entire smart phone sub-category.
Both the Wi-Fi Alliance and In-Stat expect the sales momentum for 2009 to come from cellular Wi-Fi handsets, portable consumer electronics, home networking, and mobile PCs. They have forecasted all handheld gaming devices shipped in 2009 to have Wi-Fi.
The mobile PC market, which has been predicted to grow by 12 percent this year, will experience an uptake of new alternatives to notebooks known as mobile internet devices or netbooks.
According to Figueroa, manufacturers are striving to meet the consumers demand of connectivity at any time, in any place, and are offering a variety of affordable devices.
“Wi-Fi is a key feature in making these products so attractive,” said Figueroa.

Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha’s article, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi


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