27% of Total Bluetooth Shipments to be Bluetooth Low Energy by 2021
Monday, April 25, 2016 | Comments

ABI Research predicts annual Bluetooth device shipments to reach 5 billion by 2021. Though smartphones will still account for 43 percent of Bluetooth device shipments, Bluetooth Smart, also known as Bluetooth Low Energy, is exhibiting the strongest growth.

With a predicted 34 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2016 and 2021, driven by new opportunities in beacons, home automation and wearable applications in which lower energy consumption is critical, Bluetooth Smart devices will account for 27 percent of total Bluetooth shipments by 2021.

“While there remain significant opportunities for Bluetooth smartphone accessories and connected home devices, there will be increasing traction toward connecting to everyday household objects,” said Andrew Zignani, industry analyst at ABI Research. “This will be driven further by mesh networking and IPv6 enhancements. Improvements in energy efficiency and range, and reductions in size, will be contributing factors accelerating shipment growth. However, initial mesh implementations will target less power conscious devices, such as smart lighting, rather than beacons and more sophisticated wireless sensor network applications due to the extra power consumption that mesh will require.”

Combo solutions will become increasingly important to the market moving forward, while integration with other technologies such as near field communications (NFC) to securely provision headless Internet of things (IoT) devices will also become more common. Power will also become increasingly critical and soon result in improvements in sleep states and radio operation, as well as enable growth in ultra-low power IoT nodes. Given the many upcoming enhancements, the building of reference designs and developmental tools will be critical in upcoming years to ease deployment.

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