Worldwide WLAN Market Shows Slower Growth in Fourth Quarter of 2014, According to IDC
03 Mar 2015
Enterprise WLAN market grew 7.4% year over year in fourth quarter of 2014
FRAMINGHAM, Mass., March 3, 2015 – The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments increased 7.0% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14). According to the results published in the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker, the enterprise segment continued to grow at a steady rate and increased another 7.4% over the same period last year. After an uptick in year-over-year growth in 3Q14 (9.4%), the enterprise WLAN market growth rate resumed a pattern of incremental growth rate decreases. For the full year 2014, the enterprise WLAN market grew 8.5% year over year, significantly lower than the gains seen in the last few years.
The 802.11ac standard continues to see adoption at a breakneck pace in the enterprise segment. After six full quarters of product availability, the 802.11ac standard already accounts for just over 30% of dependent access point shipments and 44% of dependent access point revenues, representing a noticeably faster adoption rate than the 802.11a/b/g to 802.11n transition several years ago. Some of the reasons behind this trend include increasingly complete indoor and outdoor 802.11ac portfolios, competitive pricing relative to 802.11n access points, and the higher throughput of 802.11ac that helps meet the demands of what IDC calls the 3rd Platform of IT, built on cloud, mobility, big data, and social business technologies.
The consumer WLAN market increased 6.5% year over year in 4Q14. This represents a slight increase from the 5.6% year-over-year growth seen in 3Q14. The ongoing transition from the older 802.11n standard to the newer and faster 802.11ac standard continues to drive growth across all geographies. Worldwide consumer 802.11ac WLAN revenues grew 155.6% year over year, with shipments increasing 206.6%. Consumer 802.11ac equipment revenues grew at 100% or more in most regions, performing especially well in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and Latin America regions, with 479.2% and 344.2% year-over-year growth respectively.
"Where appropriate, enterprises worldwide are seeking to move mission-critical functions from the wired network to wireless," said Rohit Mehra, Vice President, Network Infrastructure, at IDC. "These organizations are migrating to 802.11ac in order to experience wire-like speeds that enable a more nimble, mobile enterprise. As the 802.11ac ecosystem grows even more robust, expect this to continue for the foreseeable future."
From a geographic perspective, the enterprise WLAN market once again performed especially well in Latin America with 14.2% year-over-year growth in 4Q14. The EMEA region notched its third consecutive quarter of solid growth, increasing 9.4% year over year. North America saw a second consecutive quarter of strong growth, increasing 9.3% in 4Q14. The Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) (APeJ) enterprise WLAN market increased 3.0% on an annual basis in 4Q14. On the other hand, the enterprise WLAN market experienced weakness in Japan, which declined -16.6% in 4Q14.
"With the exception of Japan, the fourth quarter saw even growth across the regions compared to previous quarters. As 802.11ac adoption rises, especially with wave 2 on the horizon, the WLAN market should see sustained and steady growth across the regions over the next few years," said Petr Jirovsky, Research Manager, Worldwide Networking Trackers.
Key Enterprise WLAN Vendor Highlights
- Cisco's 4Q14 worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue was in sync with the overall market, growing 7.5% year over year and 2.1% quarter over quarter. Cisco's worldwide market share held relatively steady at 48.4% in 4Q14, up from the 48.3% seen in both 3Q14 and 4Q13. IDC believes that growth in the Meraki cloud-managed WLAN portfolio will remain a key driver of continued growth.
- Aruba (excluding its OEM business) had a very strong quarter in 4Q14 and increased 29.0% year over year and 4.5% sequentially. Burgeoning demand for both 802.11ac and Aruba Instant access points continues to drive positive results for Aruba. Aruba's market share increased to 11.8%, up slightly from 11.5% in 3Q14 and from the 9.8% market share Aruba held in 4Q13.
- Ruckus had a fairly strong quarter, outperforming the overall enterprise WLAN market after growing 15.7% year over year and 0.5% quarter over quarter in 4Q14. Ruckus currently accounts for 6.2% of the overall market, up from 5.7% in 4Q13.
- HP Networking continues to struggle as it declined -15.1% year over year and 7.6% sequentially. As a result, HP's market share stands at 4.3% compared to 5.4% for 4Q13.
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The IDC Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker provides total market size and vendors share data in an easy-to-use Excel Pivot Table format. The geographic coverage includes 8 major regions (USA, Canada, Latin America, AP excluding Japan, Japan, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa) and 58 countries. The WLAN market is further segmented by product class, product type, product, standard, and location. Measurement for the WLAN market is provided in factory revenue, customer revenue, and unit shipments.
For more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine (email@example.com).
About IDC Trackers
IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.
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