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Bluetooth Is Showing Up Everywhere


Nearly 2.4 Billion Units of Bluetooth-Enabled Equipment to Ship in 2013, According to ABI Research

A new study from ABI Research forecasts that close to 2.4 billion units of Bluetooth-enabled equipment are expect to ship worldwide in 2013. Of these, more than half will be cellular handsets; adding the accompanying headsets brings that figure to more than 75% of the total market. Notebook computers and portable music devices will run a distant second and third, although the compound annual growth rate for the latter is by far the greatest of any product class.

Bluetooth is showing up everywhere; in addition to the products just mentioned, it can be found in PDAs, desktop PCs, Human Interface Devices (e.g. keyboards and mice), printers, automotive products, add-in cards and dongles, digital cameras and medical products. That ubiquity opens up new opportunities: “Integration is a key trend in Bluetooth markets,” says ABI Research senior analyst Douglas McEuen. “Designers are saying ‘Bluetooth is in everything, so what else can we add to the Bluetooth chip?’ GPS is a popular candidate, as is FM radio.”

Some forms of integration just add speed and range, such as the current development of “Bluetooth over 802.11.” It’s the same with ultrawideband: the Bluetooth SIG is working with the WiMedia Alliance to create a technology codenamed “Seattle,” which will also add UWB’s high speed capabilities to Bluetooth.

Gaming is another quite significant market for Bluetooth, although it is characterized by eccentric cycles of growth and contraction caused by the staggered 4-5 year generations of the three leading game consoles/remote controls.

McEuen adds, “The big Bluetooth IC vendors – CSR, Broadcom, and Texas Instruments – remain the market leaders. And as they see OEMs moving to develop Bluetooth into a more capable solution, they are meeting that demand.”

The new study, Bluetooth: The Global Outlook addresses all major applications and variations of Bluetooth, and discusses other wireless connectivity IC integration. Providing the most comprehensive look at the Bluetooth market available today, the report also includes extensive analysis of the equipment and semiconductor markets.

It is part of the firm’s Short Range Wireless Research Service, which also includes other Research Reports, Research Briefs, Market Data, ABI Insights, an ABI Vendor Matrix, and analyst inquiry support.

ABI Research is a leading market research firm focused on the impact of emerging technologies on global consumer and business markets. Utilizing a unique blend of market intelligence, primary research, and expert assessment from its worldwide team of industry analysts, ABI Research assists hundreds of clients each year with their strategic growth initiatives. For information, visit, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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