One of the hottest technology markets, Wireless LAN (WLAN), or Wi-Fi, is undergoing a fundamental shift, according to In-Stat/MDR. The high-tech market research firm reports that in 2003 removable Wi-Fi PC card adapters were displaced as the most popular Wi-Fi adapter by embedded Mini PCI card adapters.
"The Wi-Fi Mini PCI card represented 49.1% of the Wi-Fi adapters shipped, and enabled most of the Wi-Fi mobile PCs (e.g., notebook and tablet PCs) in 2003," said In-Stat/MDR analyst Norm Bogen. "Conversely, PC cards held a quickly eroding 38.8% market share in 2003 after dominating the market with a 58.3% market share in 2002." In-Stat/MDR expects that the Wi-Fi Mini PCI card will continue to capture an increasing percentage of the total Wi-Fi adapter market over the next five years.
The report "Wi-Fi Inside: The Embedded Wi-Fi Paradigm" also reveals the following:
The market for embedded Wi-Fi clients (including mobile PCs, PDAs and phones) will grow at a 66.2% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) to 226.0 million units shipped in 2008.
After five years of healthy growth since its mainstream commercialization, the worldwide Wi-Fi hardware market (i.e., network infrastructure and adapters) finally surpassed $1.0 billion in (4Q 2003) quarterly revenues.
There has been a significant growth in Wi-Fi-enabled notebook PCs, as 55.0% of the 32.1 million notebook PCs shipped in 2003 contained embedded Wi-Fi adapters.