Study predicts $US2.5B in Bluetooth sales in 2001

The study, published by the UK branch of market research company Frost & Sullivan, predicts that 11 million products using the Bluetooth technology will be sold by the end of this year, the company said in a statement. Bluetooth is a standard for short-distance wireless communications, or wireless PANs (personal area networks), which connects devices at speeds of up to 1Mbps and maximum distances of 10 metres.

Furthermore, if the Bluetooth specification 1.1 receives early ratification by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) , which is expected by the end of this month, there is even more money to be made in 2001, Frost & Sullivan said. The study is also encouraged by talks already under way to develop the Bluetooth specification 1.2.

Though the study acknowledges that the delay of products using Bluetooth to the market has caused something of a backlash in the media and within the industry itself, the combined efforts of the Bluetooth SIG and the over 2,000 companies affiliated with Bluetooth SIG and developing products with Bluetooth will assure the technology's long term success, Frost & Sullivan said.

At first seen by the industry as primarily a cable replacement tool, Bluetooth is being promoted by companies such as Microsoft as a viable option for wireless PAN products, though the Frost & Sullivan study claims Bluetooth is evolving into a "complex wireless LAN (local area network)."

According to the study, initial Bluetooth products will be limited in 2001 to PC cards, headsets and other add-on cable replacement products and predicted that Ericsson -- the company to first develop Bluetooth -- will initially be the company to secure market leadership.

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