Bluetooth Wireless Technology Shipments Hit Two Million a Week

From the 2004 Wireless Connectivity World show in Amsterdam, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced that Bluetooth wireless technology has reached yet another milestone shipments of products with the technology now exceed two million units per week worldwide. This comes less than nine months after surpassing the one million per week mark with mobile phones, PDAs, notebooks and mobile accessories being the key drivers for the continued surge in shipments.

"Bluetooth wireless technology is definitively moving into the consumer mainstream with more than 150 million units shipped so far and shipments now running at more than two million units a week, said Stuart Carlaw, senior Bluetooth analyst with IMS Research.

The SIG also announced the launch of a new prototype specification named Enhanced Data Rate (EDR). The new specification will provide faster data transmissions and improve the user experience though higher transmission speeds and even lower power consumption, providing a platform for data transfer speeds of up to three times current levels. The new specification also provides improved facilities to use several functions or devices simultaneously, due to more available bandwidth. This will further enhance the multi-tasking possibilities when using devices built with the wireless technology. The lower power consumption will enable a new generation of Bluetooth devices to last up to twice the current operating time. EDR is backwards compatible with the previous specifications. The Bluetooth SIG expects the EDR specification to be finalized in fall 2004, with products based upon the specification available in 2005.

We at the SIG are constantly talking to our members about how we can continue to drive up adoption rates. In recent months, what weve seen has been phenomenal. The market is now embracing the technology and consumers are developing creative platforms on which to fully exploit the technology with many new applications that allow users to wirelessly connect and transfer information between devices, at work, at home or in their car, said Anders Edlund, Marketing Director of the Bluetooth SIG. People are now seeing that Bluetooth wireless technology is not a geeky toy or a corporate luxury, but rather the only short-range, global standard for linking wireless products in a convenient and easy to use way.

Bluetooth has become a key component of our mobile environment in a short period of time, said Bruce Hawver, vice president and general manager of companion products for Motorolas Personal Communications Sector. Twelve months ago Bluetooth was a periphery to our core proposition, but now its becoming an essential component. Today Bluetooth can be found in a rapidly increasing number of mobile phones as well as in many new exciting accessories ranging from motorcycle helmets to car kits to stereo speakers.

To better assist manufacturers in deploying the technology in real products, the SIG has established a new policy for finalizing specifications requiring three interoperable prototypes to be demonstrated at Bluetooth SIG test events before a new specification is adopted. By following this new robust procedure, the Bluetooth SIG expects to virtually eliminate the risk for interoperability issues in early devices built on new versions of Bluetooth specifications.

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