As has been the case with other electronics and communications gear (but also, it occurs to us, with sneakers and T-shirts), more and more of the production is being done in Asia. Recently published market research says that production of WLAN APs in Taiwan and mainland China will likely continue to grow steadily and keep pace with developments on the standards front. Gear makers are directing their efforts more toward improving 802.11g and 802.11a APs, with combination products also in ample supply. Many companies, however, are considering joining the 802.11n bandwagon soon, as they predict the "n" standard to rule the market in the next few years.
Taiwan's Market Intelligence Center (MIC) says that Taiwan produced about 7.21 million WLAN APs in 2005, amounting to $275.4 million. The country is projected to produce 8.27 million APs with a production value of $314.3 million in 2006. Taiwan's 2005 output of WLAN APs accounted for 56 percent of the worldwide shipment of 12.87 million units. In 2006, the output is expected to account for 50.2 percent with a projected global output of 16.47 million units.
Another research outfit, the Industrial Economic & Knowledge Center (IEK), says the global WLAN market could grow by 14 percent in 2006, with strong growth coming from the consumer electronics and telecom industries. WLANs for PCs continue to account for 47 percent to 49 percent of the overall WLAN output, but WLAN for consumer electronic products have risen between 10 percent and 12.5 percent in H2, and that WLAN for telecom products grew by 9.8 percent in Q4 2005. IEK projects that the WLAN for the two segments will continue to be strong in 2006, with WLAN for consumer electronic products accounting for about 20 percent of the total share.
For more on the WiFi gear market
-see this detailed TelecomProducts report