Apple Adopts 802.11ac Wireless Standard Quickly as new Study forecasts the Next Standard to Follow in 2015
According to a new report that was just released, the growth of 802.11ac and 802.11ad will occur in very different ways over the next few years. The adoption of 802.11ac is expected to explode into devices including smartphones right out of the gate this year while 802.11ad will see a more modest and staggered growth pace. 802.11ac is being pushed into smartphones by key carriers' device requirements that are in sync with 802.11ac hotspot plans for more robust Wi-Fi offloading.
The report quotes states research director Philip Solis as saying that "The push towards 802.11ac adoption overpowers the minor additional cost of dual-band 802.11n/802.11ac chipsets that will be used in smartphones. Perhaps surprising even to industry insiders, we'll likely see 2X2 802.11ac implementations in smartphones in a few years."
The proportion of various 802.11ac-enabled products will remain relatively consistent from 2013 to 2018, with smartphones making up 40% of those in 2013 and 46% in 2018, where over 3.5 billion Wi-Fi chipsets with 802.11ac will ship. The Wi-Fi Alliance is just about to start certification of products using the protocol, yet its shipments have started and are already on track to distribute hundreds of millions this year. 802.11ac finally pushes Wi-Fi more towards the 5 GHz spectrum which is cleaner and permits for the much larger channel sizes that allow for greater speeds and capacity.
802.11ad will phase from larger to smaller products, starting from peripherals and larger non-handset mobile devices and shift to smaller and thinner devices over time.
The ABI Research Study concludes by forecasting that 802.11ad will make its way into smartphones in 2015, changing the proportion of 802.11ad-enabled products compared to prior to 2015. Smartphones will account for nearly half of all 802.11ad-enabled products in 2018.
Apple upgraded their MacBook Air line-up during their World Wide Developer Conference keynote yesterday morning along with AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule which are marketed as being up to 3 times faster. Apple has consistently been an early adopter of new wireless standards and once again the take the lead.
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