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Bluetooth rockets tenfold in three years

Tash Shifrin

Shipments of equipment with bluetooth wireless technology have rocketed tenfold in three years, a report from industry analysts has revealed.

The level of bluetooth-enabled shipments increased to more than 250 million units last year, the report by IMS Research said. Numbers are set to keep soaring, with shipments predicted to double this year, and to top 1bn in 2008.

The bluetooth equipment shipments are dominated by cellular handsets and audio headsets. IMS Research analyst Fiona Thomson said, “Even by the end of the decade, handsets and headphones will account for three quarters of shipments of Bluetooth-enabled equipment.”

But Thomson added that the pattern of bluetooth-enabled equipment would diversify. “In five years’ time around 100 million each of notebooks, portable digital media players and games appliances are predicted to have Bluetooth connectivity,” she said.

The main threat to the growth of bluetooth in the medium term was the impact of the alternative wireless technology, WUSB, in the PC, office equipment and digital camera markets, but the extent of this was not yet clear, the IMS report said.

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