Microwave Journal

Strong Growth for Bluetooth Chipsets in Spite of Economy

March 1, 2003

Although the economy has continued to impact the Bluetooth semiconductor market, it will experience high growth, according to In-Stat/MDR. With recent, adjusted outlooks of shipments by vendors, and a gradual expected up-tick in the economy in 2003, the high tech market research firm expects final 2002 chipset shipment figures to surpass 35 M, for a growth rate of about 250 percent.

However, one of the biggest challenges that the industry still faces is the education of the consumers, as the benefits of Bluetooth need to be marketed, rather than the technology itself.

In-Stat/MDR also found the following:

Bluetooth chipsets will surge from 10.4 to 510 million units from 2001 to 2006, a five-year 118 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), with silicon revenue rising to over $1.8 B in 2006.

Mobile phones, PDAs and headsets have made significant strides this year. Although not a significant volume driver in terms of vehicle units themselves, the hands-free application will provide a driver for many handsets, headsets and after-market car kits. The automotive market is coming on very strong, with the first vehicles to include a Bluetooth option appearing in high end 2003 models.

Several vendors' coexistence solutions will be showing up in the market soon, and they will work even if only one device offers the solution. The Adaptive Frequency Hopping profile will be rolled into the upcoming Bluetooth 1.2 version. Bluetooth 1.2 should see a final release possibly by March or April 2003.

The report, "Bluetooth 2002 Forecast Update," covers Bluetooth equipment and technology, looking at Bluetooth chips and Bluetooth equipment being made and marketed, along with a myriad of applications and where they are headed. In-Stat/MDR forecasts manufactured Bluetooth-enabled equipment by detailed application, in addition to semiconductor shipments by detailed application. Additionally, the forecast for radio, base band, and host-supported silicon solutions is presented, as well as semiconductor shipments by geographic region, shipment by class 1 vs. class 2/3, and application segmentation for class 1. All forecasts are through 2006. For more information, visit the In-Stat/MDR Web site at http://www.instat.com/catalog/cat-mi.htm.