Press Room
Taiwanese WLAN Shipments Unphased by Seasonal Factors in 2Q 2003
July 24, 2003
- Taiwanese data-communications industry shipment value is estimated to have totaled US$726 million in the second quarter of 2003. Wide area network (WAN) products, including network interface cards (NIC), hub/switch, wireless LAN (WLAN), WLAN access points (WLAN AP), and SOHO routers accounted for approximately 55% of second quarter value; local area network (LAN) products such as analog modems, xDSL, and cable modems, comprised 45%. 

As a portion of total second quarter LAN shipment value, network interface cards comprised 6.1%, hub/switch 25.6%, WLAN 40.9%, and SOHO router 27.4%, with WLAN the only product sector undergoing an increase in share from the first quarter of 2003. The traditionally slow sales season for PCs impacted most LAN shipments, bringing about volume declines for NIC, hub/switch, and SOHO router. WLAN volume, however, benefiting from a rapid rise in global demand, was not significantly impacted by seasonal factors and grew 37.9% sequentially. 

Total WLAN shipments reached 7.1 million units in the second quarter of 2003, while value grew to US$164 million. WLAN NIC comprised 6.3 million units, with WLAN AP accounting for 820,000 units, both reaching new highs for single-quarter volume. The formal establishment of the 802.11g standard at the end of June 2003 stimulated a new wave of demand, driving 802.11g shipment share up to 27% in the second quarter of 2003. The effect of Intel's Centrino push fueled further demand for WLAN, raising Mini-PCI module share of WLAN shipments to 25%. 

As a share of WAN shipment value, analog modems comprised 29.1%, xDSL 51.2%, and cable modems 19.7%. Compared to the first quarter of 2003, xDSL and cable modems witnessed a decline in share, while analog modems increased due to a smaller decline in value. In terms of volume, impacted by the weak sales season in the PC market analog modem shipments fell 1.1%. With leading vendors proceeding with product upgrades, Taiwanese cable modem xDSL volume fell 5.6%. Cable modem volume declined 10.7% due to traditionally slow broadband subscriber growth in North America, inventory clearances by multiple service operators (MSO) in Europe, and lower procurement demand in Korea. 

As the PC industry moves into the peak sales season in the third quarter of 2003, NIC, hub/switch, and analog modem volume is expected to recover, reaching seven million units, 26.1 million units, and 12.1 million units respectively. 802.11b WLAN is expected to gradually level off, while 802.11g volume grows as replacement effects surface. Volume of WLAN built into notebook PCs is expected to continue growing, dampening a portion of retail market demand. With the sustained growth of the global WLAN market, WLAN volume is forecasted to climb to 8.7 million units in the third quarter of 2003. Additionally, as the broadband service market warms up in the third quarter, xDSL and cable modem volume are anticipated to reach 4.6 million units and 1.7 million units respectively. Pushed on by the growth of broadband penetration and the WLAN market, SOHO router volume is projected to hit 3.1 million units.