Nokia, the leading market share vendor for dual-mode Wi-Fi handsets, has seen its market lead slip significantly over the past year, reports In-Stat. In 2Q08, Nokia had over 50% market share. This has dropped well over 10 share points as of 2Q09. Over that same time period, Apple has significantly increased market share, as did RIM.
Wi-Fi handset shipments have increased significantly over the past several years. From 2007 to 2008, shipments increased by over 50%. This growth is a result from increased phone functionality, falling price points, and carrier promotion.
“While the enterprise was the original smartphone/Wi-Fi handset market, Apple’s iPhone has propelled consumer adoption,” says Victoria Fodale, In-Stat analyst. “Wi-Fi’s popularity as a compatible cellular technology is tied to its ability to improve the user experience and also help maintain the quality of the cellular network. A Wi-Fi-enabled cell phone allows for free access to data, and it improves performance.”
Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
* Wi-Fi/cellular handsets are driving hotspot usage. For example, AT&T recently announced that sixty percent of all AT&T Wi-Fi connections in the third quarter of 2009 were made from smart phones and other integrated devices, up from 49 percent in the second quarter.
* 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 more than double over the next two years.
* There were 121 models of cellular/Wi-Fi handsets introduced in the first half of 2009, almost as many as were introduced in all of 2008.
The research, “Wi-Fi in Mobile Phones: Dual Mode Becomes the In Thing” (#IN0904627WS), covers the worldwide market for Wi-Fi-enabled cellular handsets. It includes:
* Examination of Wi-Fi handset technology and markets.
* Forecast of worldwide cellular handset units by wireless technology through 2013.
* Impact analysis & comparison of Wi-Fi in handsets vs 3G and 4G.
* Forecast of Wi-Fi handsets, including unit shipments and attach-rates.
* 2008 and 2009 quarterly market share analysis of leading manufacturers of handsets with Wi-Fi.
* Vendor and product profiles: Apple, HTC, LG, Nokia, Research In Motion (RIM), and Samsung.