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Worldwide WLAN Market Growth Continues Unabated in Third Quarter of 2012, According to IDC

The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments experienced year-over-year growth of 14.6% in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12). According to the 3Q12 results published in the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker, the enterprise segment continued on its path of torrid growth with an impressive 24.0% increase over the same period last year. This was the sixth quarter in a row with annual growth in access of 20%.

"While the growth in the third quarter was marginally slower than what we have seen in the last couple of years, it was still a stellar quarter by any standards for the enterprise WLAN market," said Rohit Mehra, Vice President, Network Infrastructure, at IDC. "Almost all major and emerging vendors contributed to this strong performance of the enterprise WLAN segment in the third quarter, a period that was highlighted by two significant events: the IPO of Ruckus Wireless, and the acquisition of cloud-networking start-up Meraki by market leader Cisco."

From a geographic perspective, the 3Q12 enterprise WLAN market grew the most in Japan (48.8% year over year) and in Middle East & Africa (42.5% year over year). The U.S. market also showed solid growth with a 25.4% year-over-year increase. Western Europe's 18.9% year-over-year gain was also noteworthy and much better than expected, given the overall macroeconomic conditions in many major countries in the region. The Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) region underperformed somewhat this quarter with a 17.8% year-over-year increase. Enterprise WLAN market results in China were especially weak and actually declined 0.9% year over year in 3Q12.

"Barring the lackluster performance from the Asia/Pacific region, and the surprising weakness from the China market, all other regions including Western Europe showed broad-based market growth, indicating that enterprise mobility remains high on the priority list of many CIOs, and that it will continue to drive growth across both the enterprise and service provider segments," said Petr Jirovsky, senior research analyst, Worldwide Networking Trackers Group.

Key Enterprise WLAN Vendor Updates

  • Cisco's 3Q12 worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue grew a strong 25.8% year over year reaching $508 million in the quarter. The North American market accounted for 56.7% of Cisco's worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue in 3Q12. Cisco's worldwide market share now stands at 50.0%, up from 49.3% in 3Q11.
  • Aruba (excluding its OEM business) grew its revenues 18.4% year over year in 3Q12, and now holds 11.2% of the enterprise WLAN market.
  • HP underperformed the overall enterprise WLAN market in 3Q12 with its relatively modest 8.2% year over year growth. As a result HP's market share declined from the 7.2% recorded in 3Q11 to 6.3% this quarter.
  • Aerohive (up 98.5% year over year), Meraki (up 147.1% year over year), and Ruckus (up 73.7% year over year) all significantly outperformed the overall enterprise WLAN market in 3Q12.

A graphic showing the top 5 vendors in the worldwide enterprise WLAN market for 3Q12 is available at Instructions on how to embed this graphic into online news articles and social media can be found by viewing this press release on

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 52 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 (

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.

About IDC

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. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 48 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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