Wi-Fi chipset sales up 25% in 2008

Wi-Fi chipset sales jumped 25% in 2008 to 387 million In the face of the rapid adoption of HSPA.

Research by the Wi-Fi Alliance and In-Stat also reveals that demand for Wi-Fi chips in mobile phones and stationary consumer electronic devices (CEDs) have fuelled this growth.

The research found that 56 million Wi-Fi enabled mobile phones shipped in 2008, a 52% increase on the previous year. Demand for Wi-Fi enabled stationary CEDs increased by 51% to 48 million.

"Wi-Fi has solidified its position as an essential technology for the home and the enterprise in 2008, and we expect our strong growth trajectory to continue," said Edgar Figueroa, executive director of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Figueroa said consumers had come to expect Wi-Fi in a wide array of products. As a result, he said, "device makers are including Wi-Fi in everything from handsets to mini-notebooks to media players."

Indeed, in a recent consumer survey, the Wi-Fi Alliance revealed that more than half of respondents said it was unlikely they would purchase a tech item which doesn't have Wi-Fi connectivity.

Nearly 90% of respondents believed that pretty soon every high-tech device will feature Wi-Fi, and 44% considered Wi-Fi support "the best sign that a new tech item is cutting edge."