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Revenue for WiFi hardware has grown 9% in the past year, with WiFi switches up 80%, according to a report by Infonetics Research. Cisco remains the top seller of WLAN hardware, with 16% of the market, and had a second consecutive $100-million-plus quarter, the report said. Linksys, which is owned by Cisco, was in second place with 13%.
The report concluded that the sales of WiFi switches and ports will continue to see strong growth in the coming years.
Overall, worldwide revenue for WiFi hardware is up 9%, to $784.5 million, and total units were up 31% for the third quarter of 2004 compared to the same quarter of 2003. Infonetics projects that over 84 million WiFi hardware units will be sold in 2007, a jump of 252% over 2003. WiFi hardware revenue will top $3.7 billion in 2007, 49% more than in 2003.
The report said that access points account for about two-thirds of WLAN hardware revenue, network adapters for under a quarter, with security gateways and WLAN switch and aggregation products making up the balance.
The report found that small office/home office consumers account for the majority of WLAN hardware revenue but that their share decreased a point in the third quarter, while revenue from service providers and enterprises increased a point.
Worldwide standalone access point revenue is up 6% from the second quarter of 2Q04, and service provider/enterprise access point revenue is up 9%. But small office and consumer standalone access point revenue is down by 6%. The report concluded that consumers are showing a clear preference for the more flexible functionality of wireless routers and gateways, rather than basic consumer access points.
The biggest surprise was the grown of the revenue for WiFi switches and ports.
"Wi-Fi switch revenue and ports grew phenomenally in the third quarter (80% and 127% respectively)," Richard Webb, directing analyst at Infonetics and author of the report, said in a statement. "While this is in large part due to low base figures from the previous quarter, this young market segment has great potential. We are seeing increasing market traction for several vendors such as Airespace, which is showing sequential quarterly revenue growth. We forecast strong quarterly port and revenue growth through 2007."
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