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Linksys Tops 2002 WLAN Survey

The latest survey of the wireless LAN market released by Gartner Inc. makes it clear just what Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) gained through the acquisition of Linksys Group Inc. in March of this year (see Cisco Buying Linksys for $500M).

In 2002, Gartner says, Linksys overtook Cisco as the leading wireless LAN equipment vendor (see WLAN Sales Up, Prices Down). The research firm finds that SOHO-oriented vendor Linksys accounted for 14.1 percent of end-user spending, while enterprise-oriented Cisco slipped to second position with 13.9 percent of total spend.

Table 1: Top 5 WLAN Equipment Vendors' by End-User Spending for 2002 (Millions of Dollars)
Company 2002 Spending 2002 Market Share (%) 2001 Spending 2001 Market Share (%)
Linksys 306.4 14.1 142.7 8.4
Cisco 302.9 13.9 324.8 19.2
Buffalo Technology 200.7 9.2 172.5 10.2
D-Link 174.5 8.0 89.2 5.3
Proxim 172.3 7.9 131.4 7.8
Others 1,021.1 46.9 829.3 49.1
Total 2,177.7 100.0 1,689.9 100.0
Source: Gartner Dataquest (June 2003)


Meanwhile, Linksys also took top spot for unit shipments last year, beating out consumer rival D-Link Systems Inc.

Table 2: Top 5 WLAN Equipment Vendors' by Unit Shipments for 2002 (Thousands of Units)
Company 2002 Shipments 2002 Market Share (%)
Linksys 2,860.0 14.6
D-Link 1,881.8 9.6
Buffalo Technology 1,857.9 9.5
Symbol Technologies 1,762.0 9.0
Proxim 1,741.0 8.9
Others 9,495.4 48.5
Total 19,598.1 100.0
Source: Gartner Dataquest (June 2003)


Through the acquisition of Linksys, Gartner expects Cisco to lead the market in both shipment and revenue terms in 2003.

The research firm finds that, overall, worldwide wireless LAN equipment shipments totaled 19.5 million units in 2002, a 120 percent increase from 2001 shipments of 8.9 million units. However, as Unstrung has noted before, the price of the kit is falling dramatically, as shipments rise (see WLAN Will Eat Itself). Gartner says that end-user spending increased just 29 percent in 2002 because of falling prices on equipment.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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