The IP phone market is going to split into two different paths. One is going to sell lots of business desktop handsets while consumers move into “media phones.”
In-stat predicts that 31 million “voice-centric” business phones will be shipped in 2012, with corded IP phones remaining the standard. Wireless LAN and IP DECT phones will also continue to grow within certain vertical and geographic markets, says the company.
The prediction flies in the face of more aggressive projections by FMC/mobile UC vendors such as Divitas Networks and OnRelay, who believe era of the business handset is ending and being displaced by the prolific use of personal cellular phones in the workplace. On the consumer side, the dull voice-centric IP phone is going to be “subjugated” by flashy IP media phones being rolled out by such players as Verizon and AT&T. Such phones support both voice IP communications and the delivery of multimedia content ranging from simple web pages for pizza ordering to playing video clips.
However, adoption is going to be slower among consumers, with business handset sales outpacing consumer sales by a ratio of about 10 to 1.