SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Nikita Ivanov, Sean Houghton

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Spike in Bluetooth® Technology Penetration in Hub Devices Leads to Increased Bluetooth Smart Adoption

From Bluetooth World 2014, the flagship connectivity conference from the Bluetooth SIG, IHS released details of its latest forecasts for the IHS Technology Connectivity in Consumer, Mobile and IT Market Tracker. The report puts Bluetooth penetration at 90 percent in 2014 for all mobile phones (not just smartphones), growing to 96 percent by 2018. Mobile phones serve as the hub for the Internet of My Things – the connectivity of the devices all around you – Bluetooth Smart enabled fitness, health, sleep monitors, proximity tags, and even toothbrushes.

“The power efficient and intelligent Bluetooth Smart revolutionized the way consumers connect to the devices around them – any thing, from a flower pot to a fork, can relay data back to users – and with the recent boom of devices we have seen, consumers are starting to expect and demand that connectivity,” said Suke Jawanda, Bluetooth SIG CMO. “We worked with Apple, Blackberry, Google and Microsoft to ensure all mobile OS platforms support Bluetooth Smart. This gives developers peace of mind. They know the products they build will work seamlessly with the phone, tablet or PC the customer already has, and for the consumer, it means their products will just work. Every time.”

In addition to healthy forecasts for Bluetooth penetration in mobile phones, mobile PCs and media tablets, IHS forecasts growth of Bluetooth technology in the home, specifically in the living room. LCD TVs are also set to see growth in Bluetooth connectivity, from 19 percent today to 33 percent in 2018. PCs, both mobile and desktop, are projected to see extensive growth over the next four years. Mobile PC penetration will rocket from 56 percent in 2013 to 75 percent in 2018. Desktop PCs, while declining in sales overall, are expected to see growth in Bluetooth adoption from 10 percent in 2013 to 27 percent in 2018. Mobile and desktop PCs, acting as in-home hubs, will fuel the growth of Bluetooth Smart accessories for diverse applications.

Added Jawanda, “TVs and stationary media streaming boxes, like Apple TV and Amazon’s brand-new Fire TV, will serve the same hub functionality the phone does for Bluetooth Smart personal sensor devices today. We are already seeing Bluetooth enabled locks, lighting systems and thermostats coming to market and soon the consumer will turn to their TV and entertainment console to serve as one of the connectivity centers for home automation.”

Lisa Arrowsmith, associate director for connectivity, smart homes and smart cities at IHS Technology, notes the growth of Bluetooth technology in hub devices has driven Bluetooth Smart growth in a diverse array of applications. “It has really been phenomenal to watch Bluetooth Smart drive the creation of a whole new class of far-reaching solutions for the ‘Internet of My Things.’ This growth is set to continue, as Bluetooth Smart is a leading choice for low-power solutions that need to communicate with consumer devices such as smart phones, tablets, PCs, and more, creating a whole new category of ‘appcessories.’”

About Bluetooth® Wireless Technology

Bluetooth wireless technology is the global wireless standard enabling simple, secure connectivity for an expanding range of devices and serves as the backbone of the connected world. Bluetooth Smart technology, through an updatable platform and low power consumption, creates new application opportunities for the mobile phone, consumer electronics, PC, automotive, health & fitness and smart home industries. With over two billion devices shipping annually, Bluetooth is the wireless technology of choice for developers, product manufacturers, and consumers worldwide. Backed by industry leading companies, the Bluetooth SIG empowers over 20,000 member companies to collaborate, innovate and guide Bluetooth wireless technology. For more information, please visit www.bluetooth.com.

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