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March 25, 2010

Wi-Fi Enabled Handsets Accounted For a Quarter of All Wi-Fi Products in 2009

By Alice Straight, TMCnet Web Editor

More and more people are finding the world at their fingertips.

Data from ABI Research (News - Alert) shows that in 2009 nearly a quarter of the 580 million Wi-Fi devices that shipped were handsets.

As Wi-Fi availabilty continues to grow, and more advanced mobile phones are hitting the market place,  consumers are enjoying the ability to use multimedia wherever they are.

'In the age of data-centric multimedia phones, carriers have embraced Wi-Fi technology as a way to offload traffic from licensed spectrum and improve the consumer experience,' said Michael Morgan, industry analyst, ABI Research. 'We are seeing handset users starting to demand Wi-Fi because of its higher data rate and indoor reception benefits.'

ABI Research expects this trend to continue, forecasting that half a billion Wi-Fi enabled handsets will ship in 2014, with 90 percent of smartphones incorporating Wi-Fi.

'The phenomenal growth of handsets offering Wi-Fi is no surprise. Carriers and manufacturers have come to know Wi-Fi as a reliable, high-performance technology that's been independently validated in our renowned certification program,' said Edgar Figueroa, chief executive officer of the Wi-Fi Alliance, a global non-profit industry association of hundreds of leading companies devoted to the proliferation of Wi-Fi technology across devices and market segments. 'The Wi-Fi Certified program helps ensure a seamless user experience when using Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phones.'

The next major technology advancement for handsets is on the horizon -- advanced Wi-Fi Certified technology, utilizing 802.11n multi-streaming modulation techniques,  is beginning to appear in mobile phones. The migration toward 802.11n is expected to continue, ABI Research predicts that by 2012, 802.11n will be the predominant Wi-Fi technology in handsets.

Alice Straight is a TMCnet editor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Alice Straight

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