Press Room
Taiwan's WLAN Industry Avoids Off-season Trend, Enjoys Steady Shipment in 1Q '08, According to MIC
May 16, 2008

According to MIC (Market Intelligence Center, Taiwan), an ICT industry research institute based in Taipei, in the second quarter of 2008 Taiwanese WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) equipment shipment performance is expected to be affected by the shortage of battery cell components for notebook PCs as well as the slow transition to 802.11n technology for other application products. As a result, it is expected that second-quarter shipment volume of Taiwanese WLAN NICs (Network Interface Card) will drop 5.0% sequentially to approximately 46.2 million units, while shipment of WLAN APs (Access Point) is expected to advance 3.4% to about 1.2 million units.

About 80% of Taiwanese WLAN NIC shipment volume is used in notebook PCs, 8% to 10% in broadband applications, and approximately 5% in gaming platforms. Hence, Taiwanese WLAN NIC makers' shipment performance is contingent on WLAN penetration rates in these three application areas and shipment in these three segments. In the first quarter of 2008, Taiwanese WLAN equipment shipment volume for notebook PCs and broadband applications inched up while that for gaming platforms saw significant growth. Consequently, the Taiwanese WLAN industry scored a steady shipment performance during the traditional off-season of the first quarter.

Taiwanese WLAN NIC shipment volume reached approximately 48.6 million units in the first quarter of 2008, up 1.9% sequentially. Meanwhile, shipment volume of WLAN AP reached nearly 1.2 million units, down 3.0% compared with the previous quarter. 802.11n products were mostly applied in notebook PCs, while 802.11g remained the mainstream technology for gaming platforms and broadband applications. Shipment share of 802.11n products increased by about 7.7 percentage points sequentially.

Branded notebook PC vendors' technology transition from 802.11g to 802.11n was pushed along by Intel's adoption of 802.11n products in its Centrino platform. The ensuing transition to next-generation Santa Rosa platform, though hitting bumps in the road, saw considerable progress in the first quarter and is projected to stimulate the adoption of 802.11n technology in non-Centrino platforms. As for broadband applications, telecom operators are expected to widely adopt the 802.11n technology only after seeing the final decision of the 802.11n standard, stabilization of costs, and emergence of appropriate application services. At the same time, it is also projected that gaming platform vendors will not switch to 802.11n technology until new games requiring high bandwidths come along. Therefore, the transition from 802.11g to 802.11n is expected to see faster progress in the notebook PC segment than in other applications.


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About MIC

Market Intelligence Center, based in Taipei, Taiwan, was founded in 1987. MIC is Taiwan's premier IT industry research and consulting firm providing intelligence, in-depth analysis, and strategic consulting services on global IT product and technology trends, focusing on markets and industries in Asia-Pacific. MIC is part of the Institute for Information Industry.