The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a global health crisis like no other and continues to influence all aspects of our work and lives. Many industries were affected by COVID-19, and, at the time of its onset, analysts could not have predicted the full impact the pandemic would have on market forecasts. While delayed growth across many Bluetooth® markets was to be expected, the recently released 2021 Bluetooth Market Update reports that analysts anticipate seeing annual growth resume as we move through 2021.

One-Year Shift in Market Forecasts

Overall, previously expected growth in Bluetooth® annual device shipments effectively shifted out one year. While a few markets remained resilient to the impact of the pandemic, others are just beginning to recover. Audio streaming is one such example. Audio streaming device shipments were affected by slowdowns associated with COVID-19, but the market will soon see substantial recovery and expansion.

For other markets, warehouse closures, factory shutdowns, and worldwide shipping delays reduced the availability of device supplies. Consumer spending slowed to a trickle as the phone, tablet, and PC market saw a significant delay in purchases with minimal recovery in shipment volumes.

According to the report, markets like automotive bounced back quickly while location services markets flattened as COVID-19 delayed deployments around the globe. The impact of the pandemic slowed location services implementations by 25 percent (compared to pre-pandemic 2020 forecasts), as mitigating the spread of the pandemic prohibited professionals from traveling and installing equipment within facilities. Growth is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels throughout 2021, rising to 550,000 implementations by 2025.

“Most markets are expected to recover close to previous projections by 2024, but much will also depend on the longer-term economic impact of COVID-19 across different regions and specific device market trends.” 
– ABI Research

New Market Opportunities

During this challenging time, some Bluetooth® markets found opportunities to thrive. The global shift to work from home drove growth for Bluetooth PC accessories. And with people spending more time at home, there is greater demand for Bluetooth home automation solutions that help make our lives more convenient, safe, and connected.

An increased focus on health and wellness grew demand for Bluetooth wearables. Additionally, due to strong interest in safe return solutions, analysts expect to see a sizeable increase in Bluetooth real-time locating system (RTLS) deployments.

Overall, despite the one-year shift in market trends caused by the pandemic, recovery and growth forecasts predict that more than six billion Bluetooth enabled devices will ship annually by 2025.

Download the 2021 Bluetooth Market Update to learn more about Bluetooth market forecasts and trends.

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