The volume of the global Wi-Fi equipment market fell for the first time, largely due to weaker demand for smartphones and personal computers, according to analysts at the International Data Corporation (IDC).
According to experts, global shipments of Wi-Fi equipment will reach 3.8 billion units in 2022, which is 4.9% less than a year ago, when the market grew by 8.6% due to favorable fluctuations in demand caused by the consequences of the pandemic.
“The drop in shipments of Wi-Fi devices in the market in 2022 turned out to be unprecedented, which was the result of a temporary increase in the supply of certain types of products in 2021 and a drop in demand in the second half of 2022,” explains IDC analyst Phil Solis.
Further, the market will grow due to the appearance of a large number of devices with Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E support, the appearance of Wi-Fi 7 chips in more expensive gadgets and access points, as well as discrete WiFi solutions in the main client products of various types.
According to analysts’ forecasts, in 2023 the world market of WiFi equipment will grow to 3.9 billion units, and a year later – to 4.1 billion units. Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E devices are expected to account for approximately two-thirds of shipments this year, and this segment’s share will continue to grow due to the increasing adoption of IoT devices.
The study also says that in 2023, more than 100 million Wi-Fi devices of eight types will enter the global market, and the number of product types will increase to 11 in 2027. The main devices – smartphones, tablets and personal computers – as before, are key in the market: they will account for about 40% of Wi-Fi equipment supply in 2023. In 2022, the share of IoT solutions in the market under consideration was 37%, and in 2027 the figure may increase to 40%.
According to analysts’ estimates, global sales of enterprise wireless local area network (WLAN) equipment in 2022 increased by 31.4% compared to 2021, to $10 billion. The enterprise WLAN market segment is on the rise, thanks in part to steady demand for upgrades network infrastructures, digital transformation projects and introduction of Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless communication standard.