New IHS iSuppli research says shipments of electronic products with embedded wireless local area networking technology (WLAN) will surpass one billion units for the first time ever in 2011 and then rise to more than two billion in 2015, as ubiquitous connectivity increasingly becomes a standard feature.

Shipments of consumer electronics, computer, communications and automotive products with built-in WLAN capability such as Wi-Fi will amount to 1.2 billion units in 2011, up 35.8 percent from 880.4 million units in 2010. In 2015, shipments will nearly double from the 2011 level to reach 2.2 billion, according to HIS iSuppli.

In 2011, 19.7 percent of suitable devices shipped worldwide will have some form of embedded WLAN, up from 15.6 percent in 2010. By 2015, that percentage will rise to 28.1 percent.

The penetration of embedded WLAN has risen dramatically in recent years, expanding from just 1 percent of these devices in 2002. Several product categories in 2011 already are expected to have 100 percent penetration for embedded WLAN, including media tablets, access point/routers and handheld video game consoles. Others are near 100 percent, such as mobile PCs and home video game consoles.

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