802.11ac WiFi Products Gaining Market Share as Older Devices Decline
Newer 802.11ac WiFi device shipments are expected to hit 71 million units by the end of 2015 as the latest devices are deployed instead of older 802.11n units, according to a report.The latest 802.11ac WiFi-compliant devices, from routers to access points and everything in between, are gaining market share worldwide, compared with their older, slower counterparts, the 802.11n-equipped devices that formerly powered the last generation of WiFi products. A new report from ABI Research shows that by the end of 2015, some 71 million consumer WiFi devices based on the newer 802.11ac standards will ship worldwide, while the overall consumer WiFi device market increased by 5 percent in 2014, surpassing 166.1 million unit shipments. "Shipments of devices which support the 802.11ac standard grew significantly in 2014, representing more than 11 percent of total access point shipments," Jake Saunders, practice director at ABI Research, said in a statement. At the same time, as 802.11ac device shipments have begun to rise, the market share of devices designed for older-generation WiFi standards is declining, ABI analyst Khin Sandi Lynn said in a statement. "In 2014, total shipments of consumer WiFi devices with the 802.11n standard declined 3 percent from 2013," wrote Lynn. "New-generation 802.11ac products are expected to gain market share in the years to come. ABI Research expects that nearly 71 million 802.11ac access points will be shipped in 2015."
Even as the 802.11ac devices and standards are in play, the next generation of an even faster WiFi system is also approaching. That next standard will likely be 802.11ad, which can provide up to 7G bps, according to ABI Research. WiFi chipset manufacturer, Qualcomm, has already demonstrated its newer WiFi products, which support tri-band 802.11ad (60GHz), and 802.11ac (5GHz and 2.4GHz), reports ABI. Those products are likely to begin shipping in the second half of 2015.