A new report from ABI Research says that 87 percent of WiFi-enabled smartphones will include the latest 802.11n standard by 2014.
However, the data boost associated with the 802.11n standard won't be felt by smartphone users initially, said ABI Research analyst Michael Morgan in the report. "At first, 802.11n-enabled handsets will not offer MIMO or some of 11n's more advanced enhancements. So users won't see the same degree of improvement that they would with a laptop or netbook," he said. He also said that the movement toward 802.11n in smartphones is driven more by chip makers than handset vendors.
Less than 1 percent of WiFi-enabled smartphones had 802.11n chips in them last year. Morgan said this year, 802.11n will make its official entrance into higher-end smartphones. The additional cost to add 802.11n in smartphones with current b and g protocols is minimal for manufacturers.
"802.11n is arriving in the handset just at the right time. We had to wait for consumers to switch over to 802.11n access points, and we're just now reaching that tipping point. Something like 50 percent of the Wi-Fi access points on offer are now 11n. Consumers are becoming aware of what it can do,' Morgan said.
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