SCOTTSDALE, USA: Nokia, the leading market share vendor for dual-mode Wi-Fi handsets, has seen its market lead slip significantly over the past year, reports In-Stat.
In 2Q08, Nokia had over 50 percent market share. This has dropped well over 10 share points as of 2Q09. Over that same time period, Apple has significantly increased market share, as did RIM.
Wi-Fi handset shipments have increased significantly over the past several years. From 2007 to 2008, shipments increased by over 50%. This growth is a result from increased phone functionality, falling price points, and carrier promotion.
“While the enterprise was the original smartphone/Wi-Fi handset market, Apple's iPhone has propelled consumer adoption,” says Victoria Fodale, In-Stat analyst.
“Wi-Fi's popularity as a compatible cellular technology is tied to its ability to improve the user experience and also help maintain the quality of the cellular network. A Wi-Fi-enabled cell phone allows for free access to data, and it improves performance.”
Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
* Wi-Fi/cellular handsets are driving hotspot usage. For example, AT&T recently announced that sixty percent of all AT&T Wi-Fi connections in the third quarter of 2009 were made from smart phones and other integrated devices, up from 49 percent in the second quarter.
* The potential for voice over Wi-Fi is gaining popularity, as cellular/Wi-Fi phones become more pervasive and consumer familiarity with VoIP increases.
* The Wi-Fi attach rate (percent of handsets with embedded Wi-Fi) will more than double over the next two years.
* There were 121 models of cellular/Wi-Fi handsets introduced in the first half of 2009, almost as many as were introduced in all of 2008.