The number of notebook computers with embedded wireless connectivity will skyrocket in the next five years, reports Strategy Analytics, Inc., a global research and consulting firm with its U.S. base in Boston. Only 24 percent of notebook PCs sold worldwide this year have embedded WLAN, but that number is expected to jump to 90 percent by 2008.
''An industry-wide technology push from Cisco, Intel, Intersil and other enabling technology vendors will be one critical driver of WLAN notebook PC sales,'' says Neil Mawston, senior analyst in the Global Wireless Practice at Strategy Analytics. ''Notebook vendors' desperation to stem average selling price declines in the next three years will be the other key catalyst.''
North America, concludes the report, will be the biggest market for these wireless-enabled notebooks for at least the next five years. Toshiba Inc., IBM and Hewlett-Packard Co. are best positioned to capitalize on the growing market, according to Strategy Analytics analysts.