The consumer Wi-Fi equipment market increased 5 percent to 166.1 million units in 2014, said ABI Research.
Shipments of devices, which support the 802.11ac standard grew significantly in 2014, represent more than 11 percent of total access point shipments.
Since 802.11ac device shipments started to accelerate, the market share of devices with older generation Wi-Fi standards has started to decline. In 2014, total shipments of consumer Wi-Fi devices with the 802.11n standard declined 3 percent from 2013. New generation 802.11ac products are expected to gain market share in the years to come.
“Nearly 71 million 802.11ac access points will be shipped in 2015,” said Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst at ABI Research.
The next Wi-Fi standard likely to enter the market is 802.11ad which can provide up to 7 Gbps. Wi-Fi chipset manufacturer Qualcomm has recently demonstrated its newer Wi-Fi solutions which support tri-band, 802.11ad (60 GHz), and 802.11ac (5 GHz and 2.4 GHz). Qualcomm says the tri-band access point is likely to be shipped in 2H 2015.
In the enterprise Wi-Fi market, access shipments rose 11 percent to 10.5 million in 2014. Enterprise class Wi-Fi access point market is expected to surpass 19.4 million unit shipments in 2020. Consumer Wi-Fi devices shipments are expected to reach 219 million in 2020 with a faster growth in residential gateway shipments compared to access points and Wi-Fi routers. Total consumer Wi-Fi equipment is expected to generate $13.5 billion in 2020.