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One billion Bluetooth devices

The number of Bluetooth-enabled devices shipped has reached the 1 billion mark worldwide, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) said Monday. The trade association said that the installed base of Bluetooth devices reached 1 billion in early November.

The technology is being deployed in devices at a rate of about 12 million units per week, with cellular handsets continuing to dominate shipment numbers. However, Bluetooth is also popular in audio and stereo headsets, vehicles, media players, notebooks/PCs, and mice/keyboard devices. The number of medical devices, gaming devices, camcorders, projectors and digital cameras enabled with Bluetooth are expected to grow in volume after the introduction of the high-speed Bluetooth specification in 2007, the SIG said.

“The Bluetooth market has grown dramatically in 2006,” said Stuart Carlaw, analyst with ABI Research. “Despite projections of a slight downturn in the cellular handset market this quarter, Bluetooth shipments will continue to grow at a strong pace with increased demand for the feature in mobile phones, headsets, stereo audio headphones and automobiles, among others. Also, the roadmap set in place by the Bluetooth SIG will enable new, higher bandwidth applications that will fuel the accelerated growth pattern for Bluetooth technology.”

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