Microwave Journal

Bluetooth is Steadily Gaining Market

October 1, 2002

In the midst of the technology downturn, Bluetooth is steadily gaining market traction - evidenced by steady market growth in 2002 - and proving the skeptics wrong. Allied Business Intelligence (ABI) projects Bluetooth chipset shipments to increase to 33.8 M in 2002, up from 11.2 M in 2001.

In the longer run, the Bluetooth semiconductor market is forecast to grow to just over 1.1 B chipsets by 2007, with associated revenues of $2.54 B.

The key enablers for moving forward will be the efforts of handset vendors and the Bluetooth IC suppliers. Nokia and Motorola are beginning to catch up with Ericsson's lead in integrating Bluetooth functionality. By the end of 2003, Bluetooth should become a standard checklist feature for handset vendors designing 2.5G and 3G phones.

Bluetooth IC vendors are also in the midst of a competitive frenzy as they look to capture a foothold in the market, with a view to being long term survivors.

Particularly impressive has been the chipset ASP declines over the last 12 months, which has been achieved in the absence of a bigger ramp-up in volume. Bluetooth chipset pricing is rapidly shifting from being cited as a market obstacle to becoming a market driver. As pricing becomes more favorable, Bluetooth integration becomes more compelling for a larger set of device vendors.

The ABI report "Bluetooth: the Global Outlook for Bluetooth Component and Equipment Markets" examines the evolution of Bluetooth technology, analyzes potential overlap with other wireless technologies, forecasts the IC market and segments Bluetooth device shipments into 15 categories. While mobile handsets are set to dominate the Bluetooth device market, the report notes that other key Bluetooth device categories will include cordless headsets, computing devices and the automotive market.

For more information on this study, visit www. alliedworld.com/servlets/ResearchDetails?productid= BLU02..