D-Link to challenge No.1 position in N. America WLAN market in Q4

Dec 18, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Quincy, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 18, 2003 (CENS)--Taiwan's D-Link Corp. won a 22% share of the North American market for wireless local area network (WLAN) equipment in the third quarter of the year, gradually catching up with the 26% share for the No. 1 supplier Linksys in the market, according to Dell'Oro Group.

Statistics released by Dell'Oro Group, a market research firm that specializes in strategic competitive analysis of the networking and telecommunications industries, showed that D-Link's share of the North American market has been rising in recent quarters. In the second quarter, D-Link accounted for only 16% of the North America WLAN market, compared with 33% for Linksys.

The market shares held by D-Link and Linksys changed sharply in the third quarter, Dell'Oro's data showed, with the former moving up 6% and the latter declining 7%. In the same quarter, Netgear, the No. 3 supplier and D-Link's major rival before, accounted for only 13% of the North American market.

Market analysts attributed the drastic market share changes in the third quarter to the generation-change of the wireless communication specifications in North America, the most competitive WLAN market in the world.

In the fourth quarter, industry sources said, Linksys suffered a supply shortage of key chipsets and a delay in shipment, giving D-Link the best chance to catch up with the No. 1 rival in market share. Most industry observers deemed that D-Link is very likely to become the No.1 supplier in the North America WLAN market this quarter.

The fierce competition between D-Link and Linksys is also affecting the business of the latter's major contract suppliers in Taiwan.

CyberTAN Technology Inc., for example, saw a 24.6% revenue drop last month. The company's chief operating officer (COO) Mark Yuan said that Linksys insisted on using chipsets made by Broadcom in many WALN product models but the chip maker recently suffered problems in its chipset version shift. In addition, Yuan added, the strong demand in the peak season has worsened the supply shortage of chipsets for Linksys.

Yuan admitted that his company has won full orders from Linksys but some of its production lines are still idle waiting for the key components. The COO said that the component supply problems should be eased this month and CyberTAN's delivery to Linksys would be soon back to normal.
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