Research company In-Stat predicts a quarter of all cell phones will have WiFi support by 2012:
Mobile handsets with embedded Wi-Fi continued to experience growth in 2009 despite total handset shipment declines, reports In-Stat (http://www.in-stat.com). While the 2009 Wi-Fi mobile handset growth rate of more than 20% was significantly slower than 2008’s early market monster growth, In-Stat expects that 2010 will see resumed strength with units exceeding 180 million.
While the majority of current Wi-Fi enabled handsets are smartphones, feature phone manufacturers are also beginning to incorporate this feature, providing double stimulus for Wi-Fi handset growth.
“There are three primary zones of Wi-Fi handset usage,” says Frank Dickson, In-Stat analyst. “At home, at the office and on the go. In the home, while broadband penetration has increased significantly over the past several years, so too has Wi-Fi penetration. This has enabled home networks that will rely on Wi-Fi handsets for voice and to share information with other devices, such as TVs.”
“In the office, enterprise smartphones will continue evolving to leverage VoIP’s potential, and on the go, consumers are increasingly leveraging Wi-Fi enabled handsets as they become more educated about hotspots.”
Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
* While the majority of respondents from In-Stat’s recent survey still access hotspots with a notebook, more than a quarter of the responses indicated accessing a public network with Wi-Fi enabled handsets.
* The potential for voice over Wi-Fi is gaining popularity, as cellular/Wi-Fi phones become more pervasive and consumer familiarity with VoIP increases.
* The Wi-Fi attach rate (percent of handsets with embedded Wi-Fi) will nearly triple from 2009’s rate by 2013.
* While the enterprise was the original smartphone/Wi-Fi handset market, consumer adoption has also experienced strong growth, largely due to the success of Apple’s iPhone in the consumer market.