Annual Bluetooth enabled device shipments are set to increase from 2.8 billion units in 2015 to more than 4.6 billion in 2020, with a total of 19 billion devices to be equipped with Bluetooth technology over the next 5 years.
According to an ABI Research report, smartphones will continue to represent the bulk of the Bluetooth product market, accounting for more than 45 percent of shipments in 2020.
The report also shows emerging market segments, including beacons, smart lighting, home automation and consumer robotics devices, will also increasing significantly within the next five years to collectively represent more than 20 percent of the total market by 2020.
Andrew Zignani, analyst at ABI Research, noted the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which added more than 2,800 new members this year alone, made significant enhancements to Bluetooth specifications in order to increase its viability for IoT applications.
“The recently announced Bluetooth Developer Studio (BDS) will also help Bluetooth technology gain more traction among the developer community and accelerate innovation time to market, most notably in nascent IoT applications,” Zignani said.
And while Bluetooth may continue to gain traction, the report warns of challenges ahead in terms of security, provisioning and interoperability that suppliers will need to target over the next few years.
“As the IoT incorporates a more diverse range of device types, the adoption of a common language across various connectivity types will become increasingly critical in ensuring interoperability and helping to grow the overall market,” concluded Zignani. “In addition, the development of Bluetooth and NFC combo ICs can assist with the secure provisioning of headless devices, such as smart light bulbs, sensors, and other IoT devices, simplifying the installation process while strengthening the overall security of the network.”