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IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Ethernet Switch and Router Tracker Shows Declines in Both Markets

The worldwide Ethernet switch market (Layer 2/3) reached $5.36 billion in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12), representing a 4.4% year-over-year decline compared to the very strong 3Q11. Meanwhile, the worldwide router market declined 0.2% year over year in 3Q12, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Ethernet Switch and Router Tracker.

The 3Q12 results also show that the Ethernet switch market increased in the mid to high single digit range, year over year, in Latin America, Japan, Central & Eastern Europe, and Middle East & Africa (MEA). On the other hand, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) was down overall with the market declining 3.5% year over year, whereas the U.S. declined 6.4% and Western Europe decreased more significantly just over 10% year over year in 3Q12.

"The surprising decline in the Ethernet switch market after several quarters of positive growth is a result of several factors, but the highlight was that the slower growth in the 10GbE core segment of the market could not completely offset the decline in the network edge/access segment," said Rohit Mehra, vice president, Network Infrastructure at IDC. "10GbE along with the emerging 40GbE Ethernet switch segments are the ones to watch as growth in virtualized applications and converged infrastructure will continue to drive the need for advanced networks in datacenter buildouts."

10GbE switch (Layer 2/3) revenue increased 10.7% year over year while 10GbE port shipments grew a remarkable 61.4% year over year to just under 3.5 million ports in 3Q12, and continue to be the main driver of the overall Ethernet switch market.

The Layer 4-7 switching market worldwide grew at 6.9% year over year to reach $414.9 million in 3Q12.

The worldwide Router market was essentially staying flat in 3Q12, declining 0.2% year over year. Regionally, the market saw a very strong 21.5% growth in Middle East & Africa and solid mid to high single digit increases were experienced in Asia/Pacific (including Japan) and the U.S. On the other hand, Central & Eastern Europe was down 8.7% year over year, Latin America declined 12.2% year over year, and Western Europe dropped a very significant 20.8% year over year in 3Q12.

From a vendor perspective, Cisco's Ethernet switch (Layer 2/3) market share in 3Q12 came in at 62.2%, reflecting a year-over-year decrease from 65.6% in 3Q11. Cisco's market share in the fast growing 10GbE market segment stands at 68.5% in 3Q12.

A graphic showing the 3Q12 market shares of the top 5 vendors in the worldwide Layer 2/3 Ethernet switch market is available at The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on

"While on the one hand the overall market suffered from increased macroeconomic uncertainty and weakness in the public sector in many regions, the year-over-year comparisons were harder this time around because of the stronger performance of the market in the same period last year," said Petr Jirovský, senior research analyst in IDC's Networking Trackers Group. "That said, the overall market drivers, such as proliferation of video traffic on the network, and the need to support mobility and BYOD at the network edge will continue to keep the enterprise networking market relevant over the longer term."

The IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Ethernet Switch and Router Tracker provides total market size and vendor shares for the Ethernet switch and router technologies in an easy-to-use Excel pivot table format. The geographic coverage for both the Ethernet switch market and the router market includes eight major regions (USA, Canada, Latin America, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Japan, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, and Middle East and Africa) and 58 countries. The Ethernet switch market is further segmented by speed (100Mb, 1000Mb, 10Gb, 40Gb), form factor (fixed managed, fixed unmanaged, modular), and layer (L2, L3, L4-7). Measurement for the Ethernet switch market is provided in factory revenue, customer revenue, and port shipments. The router market is further split by product class (high-end, mid-range, low-end, SOHO) and deployment (service provider, enterprise) and the measurements are in factory revenue, customer revenue, and unit shipments.

For more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Ethernet Switch and Router Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine ([email protected]).

About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 48 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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