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WirelessDevNet.com Press Release

Bluetooth Smart to See More Extensive Use in Sports and Fitness Monitoring Devices This Year


London - The Bluetooth Smart technology which takes advantage of low-power specifications for extended battery life will account for a growing share of sports and fitness monitoring devices shipped this year, according to the recently launched Low-Power Wireless Intelligence Service from IMS Research, now part of IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).

Bluetooth Smart will be present in 35 percent of all wireless sports and fitness monitoring devices shipped this year, up from 20 percent last year, taking share away from other low-power technologies like ANT+ and proprietary 2.4-gigahertz.. And with bright prospects ahead, Bluetooth Smart market share is set to grow in the years to come—rising to 45 percent of all wireless sports and fitness devices next year, and then taking the majority portion in 2015 with 53 percent, on the way to more than 70 percent in 2018.

Bluetooth Smart works with a new breed of peripherals that make use of the updated Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology for low-power consumption, benefiting devices like pedometers and heart-rate monitors that run on small batteries.

An important factor that will drive market growth forward is native support from Google for Bluetooth Smart in the next version of the Android operating system, named Key Lime Pie.

“The addition of Android will act as a huge stimulus for the uptake of Bluetooth Smart technology, especially in mobile handset accessories,” said Phillip Maddocks, analyst for low-bandwidth and smart networks at IHS. “With Android coming on board, the list of supporting platforms for Bluetooth Smart now totals three along with iOS from Apple and Blackberry 10. A Windows Phone update is also expected by the end of the year, which will further boost Bluetooth Smart prospects.”

Adding a sports and fitness monitor to a mobile phone can enhance the user experience via downloaded apps. Fitness parameters such as one’s heart rate, for instance, can be tracked more easily this way.

Already, the burgeoning Bluetooth Smart space has started to attract important players to the space. In late May, California-based Broadcom said it was launching a Bluetooth Smart system-on-chip integrated circuit aimed at applications like sports and fitness as well as health monitoring, adding to other key IC suppliers such as Texas Instruments from Dallas; Nordic Semiconductor from Norway; and Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR), also from Texas.

More mobile platforms supporting Bluetooth Smart will also create a growing incentive for original equipment manufacturers of sports and fitness devices to move away from proprietary technologies, notes Lisa Arrowsmith, research manager for connectivity at IHS. “Smartphones can now be used as a hub device without requiring an additional dongle or dedicated display, which can allow consumers to record their information with an app and even upload information to the cloud,” said Arrowsmith.

The increasing uptake of Bluetooth Smart will cause a decline in the shipments of proprietary integrated circuits in the predominant 2.4-gigahertz zone for sports and fitness monitors, down to 9.5 million units this year from 12.2 million units in 2012.

The IHS Low-Power Wireless Intelligence Service is an online database updated quarterly that presents estimates and forecasts of the market for 15 low-power wireless technologies in 10 key application areas. Using the IHS TRAX platform, this service presents unit shipments, average selling prices and revenues for each technology within its relevant application area, with additional segmentation provided by region and by frequency. The full intelligence also includes an additional five in-depth reports assessing vertical markets such as consumer electronics, commercial building automation and smartphone accessories.

About IHS 

IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of information, insight and analytics in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 165 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs more than 6,000 people in 31 countries around the world.



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