Total worldwide shipments of devices incorporating the short-range wireless technology Bluetooth have exceeded one million units per week for the first time.
The record was broken in the third quarter of 2003, according to Matthew Towers, managing director of IMS Research, which operates a Bluetooth semiconductor volume tracking service.
This growth, Towers conceded, may come as a surprise to some, as the general consumer audience is still largely unaware of the technology. But this will change this coming holiday season, he predicted.
"The hype fantasy is finally meeting the product reality where Bluetooth wireless technology is concerned," said David Whitlinger, strategic analyst of the system technologies lab at Intel.
"Current applications and products are getting better and new, viable applications and solutions are on the horizon. One million products shipping per week is just the beginning."
Trade association the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) said the wireless technology has been making quiet progress over the past year. It can now be found in an impressive array of consumer products, from mobile phones and headsets to PDAs, PCs, MP3 players and even cars.
"Bluetooth has hit a major milestone in its evolution as the technology enters the maturity stage of its lifecycle," said Michael Wall, industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
"A stable specification and installed base that runs into millions of units is proof that it has been a success. Even critics would be hard-pressed to name any other wireless communications technology that managed to achieve the volumes and diversity of deployment of Bluetooth in just six years."
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