ABI: WiFi-capable handset shipments to hit 300M by 2011

Although carriers have warmed up to the technology in varying degrees--AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA have long supported WiFi while Verizon Wireless has remained a bit more cautious--WiFi is fast becoming a "must-have" handset feature, according to research firm ABI. "The picture may be unique to each carrier," said analyst Michael Morgan, "but in the end WiFi can offer most operators ... two key benefits: extended reach and/or network load reduction." Therefore, based on operators' and users' newfound appreciation for WiFi, ABI predicts shipments of WiFi-capable handsets will double from 2009 to 2011. The research firm said that 144 million WiFi-capable handsets will be shipped this year, and number that will jump to just over 300 million in 2011. Release