“Anyone following Apple Computer should be forgiven if they feel that iPod has hogged all the glory lately. The wildly successful digital music player has dominated media coverage and garnered accolades, as well as capturing about one-third of the market for these devices. But that golden halo has overshadowed another big Apple hardware success: Its popular Airport line of wireless networking devices,” Alex Salkever reports for BusinessWeek.
“The Airport Extreme base station acts as a wireless broadband router that can support up to 50 computers, Macs or PCs. Apple also makes wireless broadband cards that allow Macs to pull in signals based on the 802.11 standard, known as Wi-Fi. Apple engineers jumped on the Wi-Fi bandwagon early, building Airport-card slots into iMacs and other Apple computers two years ago,” Salkever reports.
[MacDailyNews Note: Apple actually introduced Airiport on July 21, 1999 at Macworld Expo New York, over 4 and a half years ago.]
“Indeed, Apple had seen the promise of wireless broadband when 802.11 was only emerging from standards bodies,” Salkever reports. “How fast did Apple embrace Wi-Fi? According to research by tech tracker In-Stat/MDR, Apple grabbed 20.2% of the global market for network interface cards (NIC) and wireless access points offering the 802.11g flavor of Wi-Fi. That put the Mac folks behind only Cisco (CSCO ) subsidiary and industry leader Linksys in sales of gear running 802.11g, which is quickly become the de facto standard for consumer and small-business Wi-Fi use.”
Salkever reports, “Still, if Apple is No. 2 in sales, it leads in revenues. In 2003, it pulled in $148.3 million in 802.11g revenues, putting Jobs & Co. ahead of Linksys by some $32 million. True, Apple had a much smaller market share in older and slower 802.11b devices, but it didn’t even bother to advertise its products available in that market, instead choosing to emphasis the zippy newer line.”
Full article here.