Microwave Journal

Bluetooth Semiconductor Market Making Solid Progress

October 1, 2003

The Bluetooth semiconductor market has made solid progress in spite of economic ups and downs, reports In-Stat/MDR.

The high tech market research firm reports that final 2002 worldwide chipset shipments were 35.8 million units, resulting in 245 percent growth over 2001. As this market's size grows and matures, the growth rate will naturally decrease, resulting in a compound annual growth rate of 74 percent from 2002 to 2007.

Mobile handsets, led by GSM, will remain a major driving force for Bluetooth. Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones have grown significantly, especially for embedded models. When the worldwide average cost for Bluetooth solutions dipped below $10, many more models entered the market offering Bluetooth connectivity.

With the assumption that cost will prevent a complete conversion for all phones to Bluetooth in the near term, In-Stat/MDR believes that the uptake rate will significantly rise as the solution cost declines.

In-stat/MDR's research shows that there are many European and Asian operators who see Personal Mobile Gateways (PMG) as an opportunity to increase average revenue per unit (ARPU) that offer other means for service differentiation. Demand for PMG products and associated capabilities and services could provide another driver for Bluetooth-enabled products. PMG adds an application layer on top of the Bluetooth physical connection and existing profiles. Several PMG equipment models are expected by the end of 2003, as well as thin, or sleek, accessory devices. In-Stat/MDR also expects to see some trials and increased investigation by several European and Asian operators to occur this year and in 2004.