New research forecasts a massive increase in Bluetooth-enabled device shipments triggered by more widespread use of the technology.
ABI Research predicts shipments will increase by an average of half a billion per year through 2021, reaching more than five billion. New advancements enabled by Bluetooth 5, mesh networking and IP support for existing Bluetooth Low Energy chipsets are behind the increased demand.
The idea is that Bluetooth 5 will soon extend beyond cable replacements and smartphones to the wider IoT landscape such as larger scale networks that no longer rely on the smartphone as a hub.
“Bluetooth is evolving from a smartphone and personal area network solution to a scalable, low-power wireless networking technology,” says Andrew Zignani, Industry Analyst at ABI Research. “This development will unlock growth in beacons, home automation, building automation, lighting and other smart city applications.”
The move away from mobile device connectivity seems to be a theme, this week. And it’s something TecHome Builders should be aware of (see story below).
But don’t be too hasty. Research shows by 2021, smartphones will still account for 40 percent of Bluetooth product shipments, but this will represent a 12 percent drop in volume share from 2015. This significant portion of the market will continue to drive the mobile accessory market, the second largest portion of devices at this time.
And as mobile and computing devices rely less on physical ports, notably headphone jacks, Bluetooth accessories will further climb in volume share. Bluetooth accessories are expected to capture 13 percent of total Bluetooth product shipments by 2021.
But it is beacons that represent one of the largest opportunities for Bluetooth-enabled devices. By 2021, it will be the third largest market for Bluetooth devices and the fastest growing of all segments.
“As we move forward, Bluetooth will gain market share at the expense of low data rate technologies, like Thread, ZigBee and Z-Wave, and power hungry technologies like Wi-Fi,” concludes Zignani. “While the ubiquitous presence of Bluetooth in smartphones is critical in the short to medium term, mesh networking and other new features will help Bluetooth take advantage of new opportunities across the IoT in the years ahead.”
For more great content, be sure to subscribe to our newsletters