Bluetooth Outlook Is Rosy, In-Stat Study Finds

By Joseph Palenchar On May 27 2002 - 6:00am

Worldwide sales of Bluetooth-equipped products will rise to 644 million units in 2006, and the technology will appear in mobile phones more than in any other device, according to an In-Stat/MDR study.

The next most-frequent applications of the technology will appear in headsets and PDAs. In-Stat said it expects the first Bluetooth-equipped vehicles to appear in the 2003 model year.

The 644 million figure comprises all Bluetooth-enabled products, including mobile phones, notebook and desktop PCs, memory cards, USB and serial adapters, PC peripherals such as keyboards, digital camcorders, digital still cameras, handheld game cartridges for wireless gaming and MP3 players. Also included: access points (some consumer), headsets, printers, hands-free automotive applications and industrial/medical applications.

Sales during the period will include high-rate Bluetooth 2.0 devices, if the upgraded spec is finalized this year, the research company said.

Bluetooth 2.0, called "High-Rate Bluetooth," would boost the data rate to a targeted 12Mbps, similar to 802.11b. "Assuming that the specification is passed this year [by the Bluetooth special interest group], we could see the beginnings of products by the second half of 2003, but primarily in 2004," said analyst Joyce Putscher. "The first products would be those that can really utilize that kind of bandwidth, such as access points, notebook PCs, PC Cards and USB adapters."

In-Stat is owned by TWICE parent Reed Business Information.

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