Dual-mode cellular/Wi-Fi handsets represented only three per cent of total global shipments in 2006, but are set to become the "breakout market segment" in 2007, analysts predicted today.
In-Stat< said that the devices will soar in popularity to reach 20 per cent of the total chipset market in 2009.
"Dual-mode cellular/Wi-Fi handsets are pushing hard into the market in 2007, and handset vendors Nokia and HTC are leveraging Wi-Fi as an alternative high-speed broadband connectivity option," said In-Stat analyst Gemma Tedesco.
"Wi-Fi for voice is expected to pick up this year following T-Mobile's nationwide fixed-mobile convergence roll-out in the US."
Recent In-Stat research noted that 213 million Wi-Fi chipsets shipped worldwide in 2006, representing a 32 per cent growth rate over 2005.
A notable market sub-segment to watch in 2007 is the portable media player market, according to In-Stat.
Sales of Microsoft's Zune media player are ramping up, and a Wi-Fi enabled version of Apple's iPod is scheduled to hit shelves in the second half of 2007.
Demand for Wi-Fi mobiles to explode
By Robert Jaques on Jun 5, 2007 1:00PM