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Wi-Fi protocols have changed significantly over the last two to three years and almost every smartphone shipped this year will offer some form of Wi-Fi capabilities. However, a new Wi-Fi protocol will begin to dominate mobile devices soon. New market intelligence from ABI Research projects the IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi protocol will begin to conquer the existing protocols (802.11b, g, and n) in the next two to three years.
“The Wi-Fi 802.11ac protocol offers several advantages over the current and most commonly used 802.11n protocol,” says senior analyst Josh Flood. “Firstly, the wireless connection speed will be quicker; the new protocol also offers better range and improved reliability, and superior power consumption. It’s also capable of multiple 2X2 streams and should be particularly good for gaming experiences and HD video streaming on mobile devices.”
Interestingly, a similar scenario is taking place with Bluetooth technologies for mobile devices. Sixty-five percent of mobile devices will incorporate Bluetooth generation 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 (Bluetooth Classic) in 2012. Mobile devices (mostly smartphones) with Bluetooth “Smart Ready” (generation 4.0) were introduced in 2011. Although Bluetooth “Smart Ready” range remains the same as past generations (up to 100 meters) and data throughout is similar to Bluetooth generation 3.0 (26Mbps), Bluetooth “Smart Ready” is far more energy efficient. It will extend the possible usage of the technology by a factor of five to ten times, depending on the user’s behavior. Within the next two years, mobile devices with Bluetooth Smart Ready will surpass devices utilizing Bluetooth Classic.
The advancements in the modern day smartphone have been nothing short of miraculous. These super slim, relatively tiny devices now have the same processing power as a PC from only four to five years ago. As such, the technology capabilities for mobile devices have come on in leaps and bounds. By 2014; almost four out of five smartphones will have NFC capabilities, four out of ten will have facial recognition capabilities, and over one in ten devices will operate by gestures.
The market data “Mobile Device Enabling Technologies” provides further details on handset technologies by key regions. Additionally, further technology and regional shipments are presented for the following technologies in mobile handsets and smartphones: GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, speech recognition, NFC, camera embedded, front facing camera, touchscreens, accelerometers, gyroscopes, altimeters, magnetometers, MEMS microphones, 3-D displays, gesture recognition, and facial recognition. These findings are part of the Mobile Device Technologies Research Service.