A report by IDC suggests that Wi-Fi products will see a surge in demand in 2024 following a lacklustre two years.
Pandemic-driven market changes caused an 8.6 percent growth in Wi-Fi-enabled product shipments in 2021, but this growth didn’t last long.
In 2022, the decline in smartphone and PC shipments affected overall shipments for Wi-Fi-enabled products, causing them to fall for the first time in Wi-Fi’s decades-long history. IDC’s data showed that Wi-Fi product shipments fell by 4.9 percent in 2022 to 3.8 billion products.
IDC’s report states that the market will remain relatively flat in 2023, with shipments of just 3.9 billion products.
However, in 2024, IDC expects to see 6.4 percent growth to 4.1 billion products. The report suggests that two-thirds of shipments in 2023 will be Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E, which will continue to expand into more IoT devices as more Wi-Fi 6 chipsets targeting IoT devices hit the market.
Phil Solis, Research Director of Connectivity and Smartphone Semiconductors at IDC, stated:
“The drop in Wi-Fi shipments the market experienced in 2022 is unprecedented, caused by temporarily increased shipments of certain product types in 2021 and exacerbated by a drop in demand in the second half of 2022.”
However, Solis added that growth is on the horizon. This will be driven by more Wi-Fi 6 and 6E devices coming into play, Wi-Fi 7 chips ramping up in higher-end devices and access points, and more discrete Wi-Fi solutions in primary client devices and other product types.
The report also highlights that eight Wi-Fi-enabled product types will ship over 100 million units in 2023 and will increase to 11 product types in 2027.
Primary client devices such as smartphones, media tablets, and PCs are still key drivers of shipments, accounting for around 40 percent of Wi-Fi shipments in 2023. However, primary client devices’ recent share loss is due to the flattening of that market coupled with the growth of IoT or endpoint devices with Wi-Fi.
IoT surpassed smartphones in 2021 and will surpass all primary client devices in 2027, reaching 37 percent of shipments in 2022 and will surpass 40 percent in 2027.
IDC’s report, Worldwide Wi-Fi Technology Forecast, 2023-2027, covers the shipments of Wi-Fi-enabled products from 2005 to 2027 as a pivot table.
The data is segmented into 11 markets, over 50 product categories, and a few hundred product types. It is also segmented into primary clients, IoT/endpoints, heavy and light edge infrastructure, networking infrastructure, and storage mechanisms. Finally, everything is segmented by Wi-Fi protocols up to Wi-Fi 7.
(Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash)
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