Skyrocketing demand for Bluetooth apps, accessories for latest phones
Virtually all mobile phones today already include Bluetooth technology, allowing them to work with hands-free calling systems in the car, headsets, stereo headphones, wireless speakers, and a huge array of other Bluetooth enabled devices. This vast network of compatible products creates as many opportunities for companies that make Bluetooth wireless devices designed to connect with phones as it does for companies that make phones.
The growth in smart phones continues to explode, with 906 million phones expected to be sold in 2011, a 56 percent increase from 2010. The latest phones have the computing power to run applications never before possible, while collecting and analyzing information from wireless sensors in new and innovative ways.
906 million phones shipped in 2010, virtually all with Bluetooth technology.
-- ABI Research
Forecast for 1 billion smart phones
According to market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), nearly 1 billion smart phones will ship globally in 2015, almost double the amount for all of 2011, as millions of people buy these more powerful mobile phones that are quickly dropping in price.
There's also a fast-growing demand for phone apps that can capture and process new types of information from Bluetooth sensors.
Demand for apps is especially high in sports & fitness and health & wellness. For example, apps that collect workout data from wireless heart-rate monitors, foot pods, cycling computers, and other exercise devices and display it on a phone or PC, upload it to the web, and let people share their workouts and results with friends.
The same Bluetooth technology that powers the latest wireless sports and fitness devices can help diabetics monitor their blood sugar and send the information to their healthcare provider, or help monitor their blood pressure and other vital signs from home or anywhere, using small wireless devices. Demand is expanding for both the apps and devices to support these new uses of Bluetooth technology.
Phones moving to Bluetooth v4.0
A big shift will start to take place in late 2011, when phones will start to include dual-mode chips that support new Bluetooth v4.0 technology and also the Classic Bluetooth technology in virtually all of today's phones. By the end of 2012, it will be hard to find a new smart phone that doesn't have Bluetooth v4.0 technology.
Once consumers realize they have a Bluetooth v4.0 device, they won't hesitate to buy other Bluetooth v4.0 devices that work with their phone, such as heart-rate monitors, blood-glucose monitors, other health and fitness devices or even Bluetooth enabled TVs and home entertainment systems.
All of this will create new market opportunities for companies that see the infrastructure we're building for Bluetooth v4.0 and imagine new use cases and types of devices the technology will enable. Now is the time to get on board.
Bluetooth v4.0 and its hallmark feature, low energy technology, will enable the creation of tiny new devices and sensors able to operate for months or even years off a coin-cell battery.
This will open the door to an exciting array of new products, especially in the areas of sports & fitness and health & wellness, where shrinking sensors and better battery life will make it easier to add Bluetooth technology to everything from high-tech workout watches to tiny sensors worn or even implanted in your body.
Fast Facts about the mobile telephony market
- 906 million Bluetooth phones were sold in 2010, virtually all with Bluetooth technology.
- One third of all new vehicles produced worldwide in 2011 (20 million vehicles) had Bluetooth connectivity, growing to 55 million vehicles, or 70 percent of all vehicle production, by 2016
- 139 million Bluetooth enabled mobile phone accessories were sold in 2010.
How to profit from this market
The Bluetooth SIG can help your company benefit from opportunities in the mobile telephony market. Get started by joining the Bluetooth SIG community. We have more than 18,000 member companies worldwide making everything from cars and computers to mobile phones and microchips. To learn more, visit our membership page.