Portable Music Makes Segment Impact Within Bluetooth-centric Handsets/Headsets
While cellular handsets/headsets continue to make up the largest share of the massive Bluetooth market, according to a recent report from ABI Research portable music devices constitute the fastest-growing segment.
“Cellular handsets continue to account for about 60 percent of today’s 1.2-billion unit market,” says ABI Research's senior analyst Doug McEuen, “but the prize for rapid market growth definitely goes to portable music devices. Bluetooth shipments for these products are expected to grow from a mere 550,000 in 2006 to more than 80 million in 2013. That represents a compound annual growth rate of 104 percent.”
While iPods do not yet come with embedded Bluetooth, McEuen credits Apple’s iconic music player with continuing to carry this part of the Bluetooth market on its coat-tails. “When looking at the issue of functionality, it becomes clear that Bluetooth is likely to be positioned as a key differentiator that Apple’s competitors will use in order to garner market share,” he notes. Many other MP3 players do offer Bluetooth and others offer third-party Bluetooth products for the aftermarket. A further development is the increasing inclusion of music players into cellular handsets. Bluetooth is already a standard feature on most cellular handsets. As music functionality is increasingly incorporated into phones, the logical extension is to provide both the hands-free functionality and music functionality through one headset.
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