Bluetooth Booming
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Sales of Bluetooth devices are accelerating rapidly with new figures that suggest shipments have doubled in the last four months.

According to a statement distributed by the US-based Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the market has reached 9.5 million units shipping per week.

This is up form May this year when the same result was 4.75 million per week according to figures supplied by IMS Research.

“By doubling the Bluetooth shipments in just four months, Bluetooth technology has once again proved itself as the wireless technology for the personal area network,” said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “As the market is thriving, the Bluetooth SIG listens to the needs of the market, while aiming to improve the positive user experience. Our new consumer programs encourage similar implementations for different product categories and enhance the users’ understanding of expected performance.”

The growth is impressive and something of a surprise. Back in September research outfit In-Stat was predicting that the Bluetooth could double in size for the year. In-Stat judged that 316 million Bluetooth devices would ship in 2005, rising to 866 million in 2009. At its present run rate of 9.5 million a week, there would be 494 million sold in a 52 week period. If growth continues at this pace it could mean even higher numbers for 2006.

Though hands free devices for mobile phones make up a significant percentage of demand interest in Bluetooth devices for VoIP softphones and wireless headphones for MP3 players is also helping to drive demand.

The intent of the new consumer programs is to recognise, manage and encourage people’s expectations of their Bluetooth experience. All four programs are directed at the various ways consumers gather information and make buying decisions for Bluetooth enabled products.