Wi-Fi connectivity winning though

Chris Forrester


By rights we should all be awash by now with WiMax-connected devices. But it is old-fashioned Wi-Fi thatís making the headlines, at least as far as research company InStat is concerned. They say over 1000 new W-iFi products were launched last year alone.

Wi-Fi-enabled products continue to proliferate across nearly all categories, including computing, networking, consumer electronics and mobile devices. Over 1,000 new products were launched with Wi-Fi in 2008; 2009 promises to surpass that mark, reports In-Stat.

Among the key growth areas is stationary consumer electronics (CE) devices with Wi-Fi. Stationary CE devices include products that require access to a power source, such as televisions and digital photo frames. In 2008, manufacturers introduced nearly 100 new Wi-Fi enabled stationary CE products, up from 22 in 2007. Introductions are increasing in 2009, with over 55 in the first half of 2009.

Digital photo frames and digital audio players with Wi-Fi were among the key device types to see a surge in product introductions in 2008 compared to 2007. In 2009, Wi-Fi enabled digital televisions are among the highest growth of new product introductions for stationary CE devices. Philips consumer electronics was among the most aggressive competitors, pushing an array of new Wi-Fi-equipped digital audio players and digital TVs. In the digital photo frame category, adoption of Wi-Fi in 2008 new product introductions was broad-based across 17 different competitors.

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

∑ Philips, looking to grab a market leadership position in internet-enabled television sets, released more Wi-Fi enabled television sets than the rest of the market combined

* Hewlett Packard had the most Wi-Fi enabled new product introductions of any manufacturer in 2008, and nearly tripled their new product introductions in 2008 compared to 2007.
* Cisco leads the market in first half of 2009 with 802.11n-enabled product introductions overall. Samsung electronics leads market in 802.11n consumer electronics.
* 802.11 b/g solutions are still the dominant Wi-Fi technology in new product introductions in 2008. However, 802.11 Draft n 2.0 solutions are gaining rapidly, and are expected to become the most popular Wi-Fi technology across most product categories by the end of 2009.