Bluetooth Bites Back

Ericsson AB's (Nasdaq: ERICY) decision to stop making Bluetooth chips will not condemn the short-range wireless standard to the silicon scrapyard any time soon, according to the results of Unstrung’s September poll: Bluetooth Bites It?.

The Swedish vendor -- the company that invented the technology -- announced plans in August to cease production of new chips (see Ericsson Pulls Bluetooth ).

Despite the surprise move, 41 percent (of 240 respondents) are upbeat in their prognosis, claiming that the industry will continue to grow from “other big names in the market and plenty of smaller companies developing Bluetooth hardware.”

Only 19 percent reckon Bluetooth will perish without Ericsson. Thirty-nine percent state “it’s too soon to say.”

On the subject of whether Ericsson's Bluetooth rivals should be considering an exit strategy from the market, majority opinion states that no rash move is necessary. "The market is mature enough, it doesn't need Ericsson," agree 39 percent of readers.

A third (33 percent) warn, however, that vendors should "stress 'multimode' products" in an effort to safeguard revenues.

As for future uses of the technology, a majority of respondents (36 percent) believe that Bluetooth will be best suited to “consumer electronic devices” such as gaming products and audio players.

A further 18 percent claim that Bluetooth’s future lies in “automotive applications,” followed by support for “mid-range mobile handsets” and “PC peripherals” (14 and 13 percent, respectively).

Moving on from Ericsson’s market shaker, Unstrung’s latest poll casts an eye over recent fallouts in the 802.11 market (see AirFlown?, Exit Legra, Stage Right, and Bermai Butts Out). Do these moves represent the beginning of a radical shakeout in the market, or just a minor blip on an otherwise upward trajectory? Have your say here: 802.11: Ready for a Shakeout?

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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