Fueled by the rapid uptake of Bluetooth in mobile phones, Bluetooth chip shipments have been on the rise, reports In-Stat. The rising Bluetooth chip shipments have had a cascading effect, leading to falling chip prices. This has led, in turn, to greater Bluetooth penetration of mobile phones and the emergence of Bluetooth in other product segments.

“The primary driver for Bluetooth handsets is the desire to connect to Bluetooth mono headsets, nearly 33 million of which were shipped in 2005,” says Brian O’Rourke, In-Stat analyst. “This figure is expected to increase to over 55 million in 2006.”

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

  • GSM phones have adopted Bluetooth most rapidly, with one-third of GSM handsets in 2005 shipping with Bluetooth.

  • European and Japanese automakers made Bluetooth capability available in a greater variety of higher-end cars in 2005.

  • According to results from In-Stat’s 2006 Residential Technology Survey, 50 percent of average US consumers claimed to be “extremely familiar” with Bluetooth technology, compared to a mere two percent of respondents in a 2005 survey.

The research, “Bluetooth 2006: Mobile Phones & Headsets Driving the Market to New Heights,” covers the worldwide market for Bluetooth ICs and applications. It includes forecasts for numerous Bluetooth-enabled products, and unit, revenue and ASP forecasts by Bluetooth type through 2010. It also analyzes Bluetooth standards and other competitive issues including comparison with competing technologies.

In related research, In-Stat found that prospective ultrawideband (UWB) silicon manufacturers will begin shipping UWB chipsets in 2006 and shipments are expected to ramp up with a total of 289 million chipsets shipping in the year 2010. PCs will be the initial and largest volume market for UWB wireless chipsets, with PC vendors shipping over 125 million desktop and laptop PCs with UWB capability by 2010.