So far, it's been nibbling at the edges. But over the next few years, Bluetooth technology will take a big bite out of the wireless market.
A study by the In-Stat Group, Newton, Mass., reports that manufacturers will produce 1.4 billion Bluetooth wireless chips by 2005. Bluetooth-enabled equipment production will exceed 1 billion units by then. Overall, the 2005 total market for Class 1, 2, and 3 Bluetooth solutions will approach $5 billion.
These products will begin to surface by the end of this year, particularly in mobile phones, notebook PCs, PC cards and adapters, and access points. Bluetooth-equipped desktop PCs should debut next year. While high-end business users will be the first customers to demand the technology, the mainstream market will soon follow their lead.
It won't be long before home users are employing Bluetooth to establish a wireless connection to the public switched telephone network. They also will use it to print documents from different rooms in their homes without installing a home network. Also, consumers will enjoy the benefits of synchronizing contact information and calendars among various productivity devices and with family members.
Yet Bluetooth won't be able to achieve this ubiquity until innovation and R&D trim its price tag. Then, designers will be able to integrate it into a host of additional products. In-Stat believes developers can cut these costs by using less-expensive packaging, one-chip solutions that combine radio and baseband functions, and solutions that transfer some work to a host processor.
For a complete copy of the report, call Courtney McEuen at (480) 609-4533, or go to www.instat.com.