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Surging tablet and laptop sales drive Bluetooth peripherals growth

The explosion in tablet sales and continued growth in laptop sales is sparking demand for more Bluetooth® enabled keyboards, speakers, stereo headphones, and other wireless computer accessories.

In the tablet market, folding Bluetooth keyboards or tablet stands are especially hot, since they allow consumers to travel with their tablet and increase productivity by turning the tablet into a full-featured computer. Many who don't want a case or stand are adding slim, lightweight Bluetooth keyboards to make it easier to type.

Manufacturers are excited about these and other Bluetooth accessories because tablets are such a hot growth market, and virtually all tablets come with integrated Bluetooth technology.

Tablet sales will approach 250 million units by 2017 (virtually all with Bluetooth technology)"

-- InStat

DigiTimes predicts Apple iPad and iPad mini shipments will reach 88 million, while shipments of Android tablets are expected to reach 121 million units in 2013.

Bluetooth wireless keyboardDespite skyrocketing tablet sales, laptop market also continues to grow

Research firm, ETForecasts, expects laptop sales to grow to 369 million in 2015. Most laptops come with integrated Bluetooth technology.

Because laptops still out sell tablets by a wide margin, there are more laptops than tablets able to connect with Bluetooth accessories.

Most laptops and tablets have weak speakers with poor sound, so consumers shop for Bluetooth speakers or headphones to enhance their mobile computing experience. Laptop users also like to move around their home while continuing to listen to music, without the hassle of speaker wires or headphone cords. 

Because laptop and tablet users also like the freedom to print from anywhere in their home or office, sales of Bluetooth enabled printers also continue to grow.

PCs becoming vital information gathering hubs

Apple iPadsComputers of all types—laptops, tablets, and desktop PCs—play an increasingly important role as information gathering "hubs" for Bluetooth enabled sensors. They collect information from a wave of tiny, wireless sensors enabled by Bluetooth Smart coming in the sports & fitness and health & wellness markets.

In the sports & fitness market, computers collect exercise data from heart-rate monitors, foot pods, sports watches, cycling computers and other fitness devices.

After a smart device collects information, applications can process and analyze it, letting consumers examine workout details and learn more about setting better fitness goals. Consumers then share information securely with friends, family or anyone they choose.

In the health & wellness market, computers collect data from new medical devices such as wireless blood-glucose monitors, weight scales, and blood-pressure monitors, as well as tiny health sensors worn on the body. It goes through the same process as in sports and fitness; a smart device collects information, am application processes and analyzes it so consumers can learn more about their health or share information securely with health care providers monitoring any conditions. Some Bluetooth devices alert medical staff if there is an emergency.

All these Bluetooth enabled sensors and devices create opportunities for software makers in addition to electronics manufacturers. Demand continues to rise for applications that analyze and process health, fitness, and medical information, and help consumers securely share it online.

How to profit from this market

The Bluetooth SIG helps companies like yours benefit from opportunities in the PC & peripherals market. Get started by joining the Bluetooth SIG community. We have more than 20,000 member companies worldwide making everything from cars and computers to mobile phones and microchips. To learn more, visit our membership page.

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