Study: Bluetooth nodes to top 1.4B in 2005

This in turn will generate revenue from Bluetooth chips of $US5.3 billion by 2005, according to Allied Business Intelligence (ABI).

Bluetooth is a wireless PAN (personal area network) standard aimed at enabling a wide variety of devices, including mobile phones, PCs and handheld computers, to exchange digital voice and data over short distances using low-power radio signals.

Bluetooth will find its way into 17 different market segments, including mobile handsets, notebook computers, desktop PCs and PDAs (personal digital assistants), according to ABI.

"Bluetooth's scope of adoption is not limited to the cellular phone industry and we will begin to see Bluetooth transceivers embedded in everything from PC equipment to industrial devices," ABI said in its study "Bluetooth: More Than A Cable Replacement," which was released this week.

By 2005, cellular mobile handsets will account for less than 47 per cent of all Bluetooth nodes shipped in that year, compared to 65 percent in 2002, according to ABI.

As this shift occurs, Bluetooth will make rapid penetration into PC-centric, consumer electronics and vertical application market segments. The shift will be aided by the large number of players targeting the silicon opportunity for Bluetooth solutions, in the process creating an immensely competitive and innovative silicon market.

This will drive steep declines in the price of Bluetooth silicon solutions and allow for a sub-$US5 Bluetooth module beyond 2003, ABI said in the study.

Current obstacles include lack of inexpensive Bluetooth chips, interoperability problems and limited applications. But as these issues are addressed, Bluetooth adoption by equipment vendors and actual use by consumers should be robust, ABI said.

The first Bluetooth-enabled devices are due to become generally available in the fourth quarter of this year.

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