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RealTime IT News

Study: 2001 Break-Out Year for Bluetooth

Rapid growth of Bluetooth-enabled products will occur sooner rather than later, a new study released Monday by Frost & Sullivan claims.

The study said that more than 11 million Bluetooth-enabled products will be shipped this year with a value of $2.5 billion. Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology for connecting devices. And the future looks even brighter, according to the analyst who wrote the report.

"The Bluetooth arena is expected to enjoy even greater profit streams if the Bluetooth 1.1 specification gets an early ratification," said Michael Wall, research analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

The study notes that the hype that surrounded Bluetooth has become part of a "vicious cycle in which expectations are continually being raised." That constant raising to expectations has caused Bluetooth to evolve from a simple cable replacement technology toward something that approaches the complexity of wireless local area networks. That has caused delay and backlash within the industry, the report notes.

However, Wall notes that Bluetooth technology has been in its "infancy," and impatient observers should have taken that into account. Other wireless technologies took even longer to achieve success, he claimed.

However, he noted that 2,000 companies are part of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group and that Bluetooth-enabled products are starting to come to market. In addition, more products from high visibility vendors such as Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia will start to ship in 2001, the report notes.

Those products, however, initially will be limited to wireless phone headsets and PC peripherals, with a wider variety of products coming later.