Worldwide shipments of WiFi equipment grew by over 50% in 2004 and will reach roughly 80 million units in 2008, according to research by Infonetics. But revenues in the market are declining and will continue to do so for the next few years, the study by the IT market research group found.
The enterprise and public hotspot segments of the WiFi market both delivered significant growth in terms of units shipped, and the ‘already explosive' consumer segment exhibited spectacular growth.
Increasing competition in the market saw annual subscription prices plummet, and revenues followed suit. As a result, worldwide revenue from WiFi equipment dropped 21% between the third and fourth quarters of 2004. This trend is predicted to continue for the foreseeable future.
WiFi VoIP phone handsets, meanwhile, generated $45 million of revenues in 2004 as 113,000 units were shipped. Infonetics predicts that both unit shipments and revenue from the devices will grow steadily over the next four years, as enterprises increasingly deploy voice over wireless LANs.