A new report from In-Stat says that IEEE 1394, known to Mac users as FireWire, is heading for a slow decline in the face of major challenges from other interfaces and a stagnating market share.
FireWire, long a staple of Macintosh computers, is a high-speed serial interface that’s been used to connect digital camcorders, hard disk drives and other devices. Although the FireWire standard has seen evolution with IEEE 1394b, also known as FireWire 800, In-Stat analyst Brian O’Rourke said FireWire “suffers from being the second-choice technology in many market segments.”
O’Rourke said that 1394’s historic penetration in the PC market didn’t exceed one-third of the market, and it’s now dwarfed by USB 2.0’s 100 percent penetration.
According to the report, FireWire-enabled device shipments are only expected to grow by 0.2 percent annually through 2011, and even in the market where FireWire has been most prominent — digital camcorders — there has been “slippage in this ecosystem recently” as FireWire-equipped camcorders fell from 85 percent to 77 percent from 2005 to 2006.