Market research firm In-Stat/MDR noted significant growth for the 802.11b wireless networking market in 2001, despite “a tough economic environment.” All told, shipments of 802.11b products increased 14 percent in Q4 of 2001, according to the firm.
802.11b is the same standard supported by Apple in its AirPort products. Other companies also sell 802.11b-compatible network cards and access points, many of which carry the “Wi-Fi” demarcation.
In-Stat/MDR did note a downturn in wireless networking-related revenue for the fourth quarter of 2001, however, which it associated with rapidly decreasing prices for network cards and low-end access points. The company expects 802.11b will remain the dominant wireless LAN technology throughout the year.
In-Stat MDR industry analyst Gemma Paulo expects 802.11b-related shipments to grow throughout the next three quarters, although Paulo expects it to grow at a slower pace than in 2000 and the first half of 2001. “Falling prices for both 802.11b clients and infrastructure will contribute to this unit growth, although will have a negative effect on expected revenue growth,” said Paolo.
In-Stat/MDR said that networking giant Cisco continued to dominate the market throughout the end of the last year, thanks in part to a dominant position in the Asia/Pacific market, which the market research firm called “red-hot” for wireless LAN technology.
In-Stat/MDR also noted that the home market grew rapidly in the last quarter of 2001 — shipments increased 20 percent over the quarter, with revenues up by 11 percent. “Buffalo, Linksys, Apple, D-Link, Agere & Netgear led the total home unit shipments market,” said the firm.