Introduction

The Bluetooth SIG member community is dedicated to delivering innovations that improve the capabilities of Bluetooth® technology and help shape new market trends. From wireless audio and wearable devices to asset tracking and electronic shelf label solutions, Bluetooth SIG member companies continue to meet the needs of consumer, commercial, and industrial use cases.

The 2024 Bluetooth® Market Update includes an overview of updated forecasts for LE Audio, Auracast™ deployments, and the transition from Bluetooth Classic Audio to LE Audio. The report also highlights the progression of new, high-volume markets, such as electronic shelf labels (ESL) and Ambient IoT. We are excited to see how these markets continue to develop.

Forecasts in the 2024 Bluetooth® Market Update reflect the tireless work of the many Bluetooth SIG members who are developing innovations that create a more connected world.


Supported by updated forecasts from ABI Research and insights from several other analyst firms, the Bluetooth® Market Update is intended to help global Internet of Things (IoT) decision makers stay up to date on the role Bluetooth technology can play in their technical roadmaps and markets.

Unless otherwise noted, stats without a specified source are from ABI Research. Data files referenced from ABI Research include Bluetooth Data Set (4Q23, CR-BLU-148), Wireless Connectivity (1Q24, MD-WCMT-194), Mobile Accessories and Wearables (3Q23, MD-WEAR-109), Asset Tracking IoT Technologies (2Q23, MD-AST-101).

Bluetooth®
Total Shipments

Shipments

Annual Device Shipments

Total number of devices shipped will follow a steady incline

Analysts anticipate seeing long-term forecasts returning to strong growth post pandemic. By 2028, 7.5 billion Bluetooth-enabled devices are forecasted to ship annually, representing an eight percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years.

Total Shipments

Shipments by Radio

Bluetooth® technology supports multiple radio options, allowing developers to build products that meet the unique connectivity needs of their customers.

Today, all key platform devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and TVs, are Bluetooth Dual-Mode devices, including both Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth LE radios. Because of this, most Bluetooth devices shipped over the last five years have been and will continue to be Bluetooth Dual-Mode devices. Furthermore, with the introduction of LE Audio, many audio devices, such as earbuds, are also shifting to Bluetooth Dual-Mode operation.

Due to the ongoing strong growth of connected consumer electronics devices, combined with the growing adoption of LE Audio, peripherals will continue to drive the growth of single-mode Bluetooth LE device shipments. Annual shipments of single-mode Bluetooth® LE devices will almost match those of dual-mode annual device shipments over the next five years.

1.8 BILLION

Bluetooth® LE single-mode devices are forecasted to ship in 2024

Peripherals drive single-mode Bluetooth® LE device growth

Driven by continued strong growth in peripheral devices, Bluetooth® LE single-mode device shipments are forecasted to more than double over the next five years. In addition, when you consider both single-mode LE and dual-mode Classic + LE devices, 97 percent of all Bluetooth devices are expected to include Bluetooth LE by 2028.

100%

of key new smartphones, tablets, and laptops support dual mode (Bluetooth® Classic + Bluetooth LE)

All key platform devices support Bluetooth® Classic and Bluetooth LE

Developers can count on Bluetooth® Classic and Bluetooth LE to be in all key platform devices. With Bluetooth LE and Bluetooth Classic in nearly 100 percent of new phones, tablets, and laptops, the number of dual-mode platform devices supported by Bluetooth technology is reaching complete market saturation.

3.5 BILLION

Bluetooth® peripheral devices are expected to ship in 2024, growing to 5.5 billion in 2028

Peripherals will continue to drive the growth of Bluetooth® device shipments

Since nearly all smartphones, tablets, and PCs support Bluetooth® LE, the growth rate of Bluetooth technology in peripheral devices will continue to outpace platform device growth, growing at a CAGR of 12% over the next five years.

Upcoming Enhancements

The Bluetooth SIG member community continues to expand the capabilities of Bluetooth® technology - powering innovation, creating new markets, and redefining what is possible in wireless communication. The hard work and collaboration between our member companies drive continuous innovation. Typically, there are more than 50 active specification projects in process, and here is some of the work underway to enhance Bluetooth technology.

Channel Sounding

Adding to the growing set of device positioning capabilities of Bluetooth® wireless technology - which currently includes advertising (for presence), RSSI (for course ranging), and direction finding (for high-accuracy direction) - a specification development project is currently underway to enable secure, fine ranging between two Bluetooth enabled devices. This feature is expected to support the creation of locating systems that can provide even higher levels of accuracy.

High Data Throughput

The LE 2M PHY was introduced to address a number of market opportunities, including enhancing data transfer performance for the growing number of IoT devices consumers were connecting to their smartphones. Today, an increasing number of these connected devices are looking for even greater performance, as well as support for streaming larger media, and could benefit from an even higher data rate Bluetooth® LE PHY. The High Data Throughput project was established to address that growing market need and intends to support data rates up to 8 Mbps.

Bluetooth LE in Higher Frequency Bands

A specification development project is currently underway to define the operation of Bluetooth® LE in additional unlicensed mid-band spectrums, including the 6 GHz frequency band. The new spectrum expansion project will help ensure that Bluetooth performance enhancements, including higher data throughput, lower latency, and greater positioning accuracy, can continue well into the future.

Emerging Use Cases

As the Bluetooth SIG member community continues to develop innovative features and capabilities, Bluetooth® technology is being used to not only power more and more traditional use cases but is also expanding into and creating a wide range of emerging use cases.

AuracastTM Broadcast Audio

AuracastTM broadcast audio is a new Bluetooth® capability that will deliver life-changing audio experiences. It will let you share your audio, unmute your world, and hear your best, enhancing the way you engage with others and the world around you.

Learn more

Digital Key

As the smartphone continues to expand its role in everyday life, Bluetooth® technology is enabling smartphones to be used as a convenient and secure digital key, unlocking doors and spaces as you approach your car, home, office building, and more.

Learn more

Electronic Shelf Labels

Electronic shelf labels (ESL) are small, battery-powered electronic paper (e-paper) displays that present product and pricing information at the shelf edge, replacing paper labels. ESLs use wireless technology to communicate with a central hub to form a dynamic pricing automation network. They help retailers automate pricing, improve shelf inventory, and enhance the shopper experience.

Learn more

Networked Lighting Control

Networked lighting control (NLC) systems feature an intelligent network of individually addressable, sensor-rich luminaires and control devices that allows each component of the system to send and receive data. Bluetooth® NLC systems are deployed in offices, retail, healthcare, factories, and other commercial facilities to deliver a combination of energy savings, enhanced occupant experience, and more efficient building operations.

Learn more

SPOTLIGHT

The Ambient IoT - The Emergence of a New Class of Bluetooth® IoT Devices

The Ambient IoT is a new class of IoT devices primarily powered by harvesting ambient energy from radio waves, light, motion, heat, or any other viable ambient energy source. Recently, in partnership with ABI Research, the Bluetooth SIG published a market research note that:

  • Offers a definition for the Ambient IoT
  • Outlines the targeted use cases
  • Highlights the next steps needed to capitalize on the Ambient IoT opportunity

The report also explains the central role of Bluetooth® technology in addressing Ambient IoT use cases, characterized by its low-power consumption, low-cost, flexibility, interoperability, and scalability.

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Bluetooth®
Solution Areas

Areas

Solutions to Meet Market Needs

Bluetooth® technology provides full-stack, fit-for-purpose solutions to meet the ever-expanding needs for wireless connectivity. After first addressing audio streaming, Bluetooth technology has expanded into low-power data transfer, indoor location services, and reliable, large-scale device networks.

Audio Streaming

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Data Transfer

Learn More

Location Services

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Device Networks

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Audio Streaming

The audio cable was one of the first cords Bluetooth® technology cut. Stripping away the hassle of wires on headphones, speakers, and more, Bluetooth technology revolutionized audio and has forever changed the way we consume media and experience the world.

Key Device Categories

Wireless Headsets

The original wireless audio device, from padded earphones to true wireless earbuds, Bluetooth® headsets are now a must-have accessory for mobile phones.

Wireless Speakers

Whether it's a high-fidelity entertainment system in the home or a portable option for the beach or park, there’s a speaker for any occasion in every imaginable shape and size.

In-Car Systems

Bluetooth® in-car infotainment systems pair with driver smartphones to enable hands-free audio streaming and calling, allowing drivers to keep their focus on what matters most.

Hearing devices

LE Audio adds support for the development of standard Bluetooth® hearing aids as well as support for Auracast™ broadcast audio, which enables the next generation of Assistive Listening Systems.

Continued growth in audio streaming device shipments

Bluetooth® audio continues to see linear growth despite post-pandemic challenges and economic slowdown.

1.38x GROWTH

in annual Bluetooth® Audio Streaming device shipments from 2024 to 2028

Audio Streaming

Drivers for Today

Earbud shipments continue to rise, leading the market

448 million Bluetooth® earbuds are forecasted to ship in 2024. By 2028, annual Bluetooth earbud shipments are forecasted to increase by 59 percent, climbing to 712 million.

59%

of all Bluetooth® wireless headsets shipped in 2024 will be earbuds

Bluetooth® technology is in nearly all speakers

As overall demand and the desire for more flexibility and mobility increases, the adoption of Bluetooth® technology in speakers will also continue to expand.

262 MILLION

Bluetooth speakers are expected to ship in 2024

Audio Streaming

Drivers for Tomorrow

Building on nearly 25 years of innovation, LE Audio enhances the performance of Bluetooth® audio, adds standardized support for hearing aids, and introduces Auracast™ broadcast audio, a new capability that will enable an audio source device (e.g., smartphone, tablet, TV, or public sound systems) to broadcast one or more audio streams to an unlimited number of audio sink devices (e.g., earbuds, speakers, hearing aids, etc.). Auracast™ broadcast audio opens significant new opportunities for innovation, including the enablement of personal and location-based audio sharing.

Auracast™ broadcast audio will create new audio experiences

Analysts expect to see significant growth in Auracast™ enabled devices and deployments in public locations over the next five years, driving new experiences, increasing the value of Bluetooth® audio peripherals, and creating new scalability options for assistive listening solutions that open opportunities for audio accessibility. This growth in Auracast™ deployments will directly impact the speed of adoption for LE Audio devices. Major smartphone companies, like Samsung and Xiaomi, have already updated their OS to support Auracast™ broadcast audio.

2.5 MILLION

Public locations are expected to deploy Auracast™ broadcast audio by 2030

LE Audio will deliver enhanced audio performance

LE Audio provides higher audio quality at lower power, enabling audio developers to meet increasing consumer performance demands and driving continuous growth across the audio peripheral market (headsets, earbuds, hearing aids, etc.).

3 BILLION

LE Audio enabled devices are forecasted to ship annually by 2028

"ABI Research expects Auracast™ broadcast audio capabilities to become a standard feature in Bluetooth® audio and assistive listening devices, enabling a variety of innovative audio user experiences ranging from personal audio sharing to augmented and assistive listening in public venues."

Andrew Zignani, ABI Research

LE Audio will standardize the implementation for Bluetooth® audio in hearing aids

Industry experts forecast swift adoption of LE Audio in hearing aids. Extending better support for hearing aids and improving satisfaction for those with hearing loss, LE Audio has the potential to provide audio assistance to more than 1.5 billion people with hearing loss today.

2.5 BILLION

people are projected to have some degree of hearing loss by 2050

The over-the-counter hearing aid market to experience continued growth

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration established a category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids in 2022. With people in the U.S. now able to purchase OTC hearing aids without a medical exam, audiologist visit, or prescription, adoption of Bluetooth® OTC hearing aids is expected to accelerate over the next five years.

10x INCREASE

in annual shipments of Bluetooth® enabled over-the-counter (OTC) hearing devices by 2028

Audio Streaming

Transitioning to LE Audio

Dual-mode will be the bridge between Bluetooth® Classic Audio and LE Audio

When adopting LE Audio, ecosystem vendors (including platform and peripheral device suppliers) will likely implement different strategies, incorporating the technology into their devices at a varying pace. Throughout this forecast period, most manufacturers will start offering dual-mode audio solutions in order to facilitate the transition. Over time, as the ecosystem matures and new use cases solidify, analyst expect to see a significant increase in standalone LE Audio devices.



Data Transfer

From fitness trackers and health and wellness monitors to toys and tools, billions of new Bluetooth® low-power, data transfer devices free consumers from wires every day.

Key Device Categories

Sports & Fitness

Bluetooth® technology powers wearable devices like fitness trackers and smartwatches that are showing up on wrists everywhere to monitor steps, exercise, activity, and sleep.

PC Peripherals & Accessories

A driving force behind Bluetooth® technology is freedom from wires. Whether it's a keyboard, trackpad, or a mouse, peripheral devices no longer need wires to stay connected to the systems they control.

Health & Wellness

From blood pressure monitors to portable ultrasound and x-ray imaging systems, Bluetooth® technology helps people track and improve their overall wellbeing while making it easier for healthcare professionals to provide quality care.

1.56x GROWTH

in annual Bluetooth® Data Transfer device shipments from 2024 to 2028

Data Transfer

Drivers for Today

Heightened consciousness of health and wellness is driving growth in wearables

The demand for smartwatches and sports, fitness, and wellness trackers is being fueled by increased health awareness, penetration of internet health services post-pandemic, and new technological advancements in health sensors.

177 MILLION

Bluetooth® smartwatches will ship in 2024

35 MILLION

Bluetooth® sports, fitness, and wellness trackers will ship in 2024



The consumer entertainment device industry has standardized on Bluetooth® technology for controls

A desire for greater convenience has led to an increased demand for remote controls for products such as TVs, speakers, set top boxes, game consoles, etc.

334 MILLION

Bluetooth® OEM remote controls will ship in 2024

85 MILLION

Bluetooth® game controllers will ship in 2024



Continued rise in hybrid work and working from home is driving an increased demand for PC accessories

Bluetooth® PC accessories continue to be in high demand. With a 44 percent increase in remote work over the last five years, more people are using their homes as a combined personal and professional space. This is driving increased need for Bluetooth connected home and peripheral devices.

325 MILLION

PC accessories will ship in 2024

Data Transfer

Drivers for Tomorrow

Bluetooth® wearables continue to show strong growth

A greater understanding of the personal health benefits provided by Bluetooth® fitness tracking and health monitoring devices is increasing the demand for wearables from people of all ages.

648 MILLION

Bluetooth® wearables are expected to ship in 2028

Smartwatches continue to lead the wearables category

As smartwatches become more sophisticated, adopting more features and greater functionality, they are not only taking over the role of keeping people connected (e.g., phone, email, text, music, etc.), but also taking over the role of fitness and wellness trackers. This year, 177 million Bluetooth® smartwatches will ship with that number seeing a 1.5x increase to 234 million annual shipments by 2028.

234 MILLION

Bluetooth® smartwatches are forecasted to ship in 2028

Bluetooth® AR/VR devices are set for significant growth

The definition of a wearable continues to expand. Wearables come in many different forms and functions to help deliver and augment other experiences; these include VR headsets for gaming and virtual training, as well as wearable scanners and cameras for industrial manufacturing, warehousing, and asset tracking. Close to 80 million Bluetooth VR headsets will ship annually by 2028.


Smart glasses are being used for navigation, superimposing directional pathways (and other supplemental information) for users to follow. Smart glasses are also being used for train-the-trainer purposes, recording tasks or processes to help educate and provide virtual confirmation of completed tasks. Analysts forecast over 43 million Bluetooth AR smart glasses will ship in 2028.

5x GROWTH

in Bluetooth® VR headsets over the next 5 years


4x GROWTH

in Bluetooth® VR controllers over the next 5 years

24x GROWTH

in Bluetooth® AR smart glasses from 2024 to 2028

Location Services

Bluetooth® technology is now widely used as a device positioning technology to address the increasing demand for high-accuracy location services. By enabling one Bluetooth device to determine the presence, distance, and direction of another device, Bluetooth technology delivers flexibility unlike any other positioning radio, allowing building managers and owners to scale indoor positioning solutions to match the varying and changing needs of the building.

Key Device Categories

Asset Tracking Tags

Bluetooth® technology is powering rapid growth in real-time locating system (RTLS) solutions used for tracking things and people, whether that’s locating tools and workers in a warehouse or medical devices and patients in a hospital.

Personal Item Finding Solutions

A growing number of consumers are attaching Bluetooth® tags to keys, wallets, purses, and other personal property. When an item with a tag is misplaced, the user simply launches an application on their smartphone to locate it.

Access Control Systems

The smartphone continues to expand its role in everyday life. Bluetooth® technology is enabling smartphones to be used as a convenient and secure digital key, unlocking doors and spaces as you approach your car, home, office building, and more.

2.68x GROWTH

in annual Bluetooth® Location Services device shipments from 2024 to 2028

Location Services

Drivers for Today

COMMERCIAL ASSET TRACKING SYSTEM

Bluetooth® real-time location systems (RTLS) poised for rapid acceleration

Implementation of Bluetooth® RTLS is expected to see significant growth through the five-year forecast period. New regulatory safety requirements in manufacturing, more stringent compliance procedures, and sustainable operation measures are making RTLS solutions more viable than ever before.

178 THOUSAND

total Bluetooth® RTLS implementations by the end of 2024

Swift expansion of Bluetooth® commercial asset tracking solutions is driving Bluetooth Location Services growth

More commercial and industrial facilities are turning to Bluetooth® asset tracking solutions to optimize resource and inventory control. Analysts conclude that, among Bluetooth Location Services devices, asset tracking anchor points and tags are major drivers behind continued growth.

107  MILLION

Bluetooth® asset tracking devices will ship in 2024

Consumer Item Finding Solutions

Annual shipments for personal item finding solutions continue to grow

Higher accuracy and increased demand for personal item finding and device tracking solutions are driving wider use of Bluetooth® item finding innovations, resulting in a 4x growth in annual shipments by 2028.

115 MILLION

personal Bluetooth® item finding solutions are forecasted to ship in 2024

Access Control Solutions

Bluetooth® technology is playing an important role in automotive access control

Increasing recognition and acceptance of digital keys are driving demand for more access and control capabilities in smartphones. Bluetooth® based fobs not only lock and unlock doors but also bring more convenience to drivers.

29 MILLION

Bluetooth® key fobs and accessories will ship in 2024

Leading automotive vendors now support smartphone digital key capabilities

Building on the success of the key fob, Bluetooth® technology in the smartphone can help securely access and control automobiles while limiting the number of devices that need to be carried. Having achieved 100 percent penetration in smartphones, Bluetooth technology is uniquely positioned to meet this demand.

100%

of new smartphones include Bluetooth® technology

Location Services

Drivers for Tomorrow

Demand for greater supply chain visibility drives growth in Bluetooth® asset tracking

A major use case is emerging around providing enhanced supply chain visibility. As vendor demand for real-time location tracking as well as end-to-end visibility of all products rise, industries such as pharmaceutical and food are looking to technologies like Bluetooth to support integrated solutions.

322 MILLION

Bluetooth® asset tracking devices are forecasted to ship in 2028

Bluetooth® secure fine ranging will set a new bar for performance of location services solutions

Bluetooth® technology will soon add a secure fine ranging capability, enabling item finding solutions to provide greater precision as users get closer to an item being located, allowing passive keyless entry solutions to add another layer of security and accuracy, and improving the performance of real-time locating systems.

SPOTLIGHT

Introducing Smart Labels

A new category of Bluetooth tracking tags has emerged. Powered by ambient energy sources, such as radio waves, light, motion, heat, or other viable sources, these innovative labels redefine asset tracking for various industries and target a range of use cases. This new category of low cost, battery-free tags is extending asset tracking into use cases where it wasn't feasible before. For instance, bringing increased supply chain visibility into key industries like pharmaceutical and produce. While not currently accounted for in the current market forecast, smart labels represent a significant upside for Bluetooth technology.

For more information about smart labels, read the Ambient IoT Market Research Note.

Device Networks

Bluetooth® Device Network solutions in home, commercial, or other environments can reliably and securely connect tens, hundreds, or thousands of devices within a network.

Key Device Categories

Smart Home Devices

Bluetooth® smart home devices, including lights, thermostats, appliances, curtains, security systems, and more, allow users to control and automate their home environment, monitor energy usage, and increase security with ease.

Networked Lighting Control Devices

Bluetooth® Networked Lighting Control (NLC) systems are deployed in offices, retail, healthcare, factories, and other commercial facilities to deliver a combination of energy savings, an enhanced occupant experience, and more efficient building operations.

Condition Monitoring Systems

Bluetooth® wireless sensor networks monitor light, temperature, humidity, and occupancy to improve employee productivity, lower building operating costs, or better meet condition and maintenance requirements of production equipment to reduce unplanned downtime.

Electronic Shelf Labels

Bluetooth® Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL) are small, battery-powered electronic paper (e-paper) displays that present product and pricing information at the shelf edge, replacing paper labels. They help retailers automate pricing, improve shelf inventory, and enhance the shopper experience.

2.44x GROWTH

in annual Bluetooth® Device Network device shipments from 2024 to 2028

Device Networks

Drivers for Today

Smart home devices continue to play a significant role in the market

Today, Bluetooth® technology is the radio of choice for commissioning in all smart home devices, making it the dominant radio in the smart home. Now, with its inclusion in the Matter standard, the role of Bluetooth technology in the smart home will remain unrivaled for years to come.

675 MILLION

Bluetooth® smart home devices are expected to ship in 2024

Greater connectivity in the smart home market is leading to a significant increase in smart appliances

Bluetooth® technology established itself as the go-to technology in many smart home solutions and is now expanding its role in home IoT. Air purifiers and conditioners and countertop appliance markets saw the greatest growth, tripling in shipments over previous forecasts.

203 MILLION

Bluetooth® smart appliances are expected to ship in 2024

Device Networks

Drivers for Tomorrow

Networked Lighting Control

Bluetooth® networked lighting control is experiencing mainstream traction

The proliferation of LEDs, a desire for greater energy efficiency, faster deployment capabilities, and a higher-quality occupant experience are driving the demand for Bluetooth® commercial networked lighting control solutions.

115%   CAGR  

of Bluetooth® Networked Lighting Control devices over the next five years

Electronic Shelf Labels

Bluetooth® Electronic Shelf Labels emerge as a new, high-volume market

Electronic shelf labels (ESL) provide always-accurate pricing, increased access to real-time promotions and product information, and a more gratifying and cohesive omnichannel experience. For retailers, they can streamline picking and fulfillment for click and collect shoppers while also accelerating shelf replenishments to optimize product availability on shelves and avoid missed sales.

100 MILLION

Bluetooth® Electronic Shelf Label devices are forecasted to ship by 2028

"The ESL market has seen enormous growth over the last few years, and 2023 marked another strong year for adoption in the retail space. Alongside the growing availability of the Bluetooth® ESL standard from technology suppliers, large scale deployments leveraging Bluetooth technology have already been announced. With tens of billions of labels globally having the potential to be replaced with ESLs, this represents an enormous total addressable market (TAM) for Bluetooth® ESL technology going forward."

Andrew Zignani, ABI Research

CONDITION MONITORING

Bluetooth® condition monitoring is driving greater sensorization 

Machines and equipment used in the manufacturing processes are already being monitored by large networks of wireless sensors, and more vendors in industrial settings are increasingly looking to maximize condition monitoring benefits, such as preventive and predictive maintenance that can help avoid costly repairs. Analysts anticipate seeing a long tail of use cases within this segment as more companies leverage a wide range of condition monitoring solutions.

32 MILLION

Bluetooth® condition monitoring solutions will be implemented by 2026

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