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June 27, 2012

Bluetooth-enabled equipment sales will soar to 4.2 billion units by 2015: report

Driven by cellular phones and related wireless headsets, PDAs, and laptop computers, the main applications for Bluetooth technology

By CBR Staff Writer

The Bluetooth-enabled end-equipment shipments is expected to grow at 29% per year between 2010-2015 to reach 4.2 billion units, according to the new report by IC Insights.

The growth is driven by the adoption of bluetooth wireless connection technology into a broader range of applications in personal area networks (PANs).

Cumulative shipments of Bluetooth modules exceeded 1 billion units in 2006, surpassed the 2 billion mark in early 2008, and then crossed the 4 billion mark in 2010, though the shipment fell slightly in 2009 as the global recession put a large dent in the sales of Bluetooth headsets.

IC Insights report revealed that part of Bluetooth’s overall success is its applicability to a large array of consumer and business products as it can now be found in every major end-use market category like communications, computer, consumer, automotive, industrial including medical and military systems, which denotes a high-volume opportunity for system growth.

New uses of Bluetooth 4.0 low-energy standard set the stage for second wave of growth, however, a large and growing market application for Bluetooth technology is in automobiles.

IC Insights said several key automobile manufacturers have stated that Bluetooth will play a key role in establishing telematics applications, since about 50% of all cellphone calls originate from cars.

As countries are increasingly banning the handheld use of cellphones while driving, hands-free calling in automobiles is expected to become quite common, and this application is a perfect fit for Bluetooth.

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Another application for Bluetooth in automobiles is the wireless streaming of stereo audio signals from a portable music player or cellphone to a car’s sound system.

The report indicates that in healthcare applications, interfaces have been established for wirelessly connected thermometers, heart-rate monitors, weight scales, blood glucose meters, and pedometers.

New Bluetooth 4.0 BLE links allow wearable low-energy sensor devices to routinely transmit readings to a patient’s smartphone, which then can send the data to doctors and caregivers.

The research firm said earlier many of these kinds of devices could not connect to Bluetooth since they required massive power.

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