The combined consumer and enterprise WLAN market segments rose 2.3% year over year in the first quarter of 2020 (1Q20), according to IDC. The enterprise segment fell 2.2% year over year in 1Q20 with $1.3 billion in revenue.
The first quarter of 2020 began showing the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on the enterprise WLAN market. The novel coronavirus began spreading in China early in the quarter then expanded into Europe and North America later in the quarter. The subsequent lockdown of economies represented a headwind for the enterprise WLAN market.
A driver for the enterprise WLAN market is the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, also known as 802.11ax. Across the enterprise market, Wi-Fi 6-supported dependent access points (APs) made up 11.8% of unit shipments and 21.8% of revenues. The previous generation standard, 802.11ac, still made up the majority of shipments (80.9%) and revenues (76.2%).
Meanwhile, the consumer WLAN market grew 5.5% year over year in 1Q20. Within the consumer market, 62.5% of shipments and 79.4% of revenues were for 802.11ac products. APs supporting the older 802.11n standard still made up 36.9% of unit shipments and 17.6% of revenues, not surprising given the price sensitivity seen across many emerging markets.
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