Wi-Fi in Consumer Electronics Devices

According to In-Stat, Wi-Fi is warming up in some segments of consumer electronics, such as gaming consoles and handheld games. However, in other consumer electronics segments, Wi-Fi isn’t doing as well (for instance, digital video camcorders and standalone Personal Video Recorders).

In a recent Wi-Fi research study, In-Stat found the following:

  • Digital Rights Management, combined with a lack of consumer understanding around multimedia home networking, may continue to hinder Wi-Fi’s uptake into CE devices designed to access and/or distribute online content.
  • Although Wi-Fi offers networking capabilities not provided by wireless Personal Area Network (PAN) technologies, there are some device segments—such as digital video camcorders, digital still cameras and printers—where Wi-Fi faces technology competitors such as the emerging Wireless USB.
  • Handheld game shipments with embedded Wi-Fi are expected to reach 28 million units in 2006. Gaming consoles with embedded Wi-Fi are expected to ramp up to approximately 5 million by the end of 2006, driven by the fourth quarter release of Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii.
  • 802.11n is expected to drive Wi-Fi uptake into core digital living room devices such as digital TVs and set top boxes.
  • Major vendor moves in the CE space include Apple’s planned launch of a Wi-Fi media adapter in 2007, and Microsoft’s release of its Wi-Fi-enabled Zune portable digital music player in late 2006. Innovative Wi-Fi-enabled CE devices are available from a variety of vendors—MusicGremlin, Slim Devices, Sonos, Sony, Nintendo, Sharp, Philips, Free, Sirius, Buffalo, D-Link, Linksys and many others. But, to really push Wi-Fi into specific CE segments, vendors will have to devote significant marketing resources, and, most importantly, provide a skillful implementation of Wi-Fi that really demonstrates the technology’s value-add.

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The research, “Consumer Electronics Devices Warming Up To Wi-Fi” (#IN0603244WS), examines Wi-Fi attach rates across CE device segments. Detailed analysis, forecasts and Wi-Fi technology adoption breakdowns are given for specific Stationary and Portable CE device subsegments. Forecasts for home aggregators, including wireless routers and gateways, as well as external clients and embedded Wi-Fi in laptops, are provided. Also included is a look at the growing market for Wi-Fi-enabled phones. The price is $2,995 (US).