After a slow start, almost a billion Bluetooth devices will be sold annually in Asia by 2013, new forecasts predict.
Potential buyers had been deterred by high prices and a perception of technical problems with the short range wireless networking technology, but the landscape is changing, according to analysts from ABI Research.
"One of the biggest barriers for consumers is cost," said Andy Bae, a senior analyst at ABI Research in Asia.
"Consumers in Asia believe that the Bluetooth headset is comparatively expensive, and they also seem to underestimate its voice quality."
Bluetooth-enabled device shipments are now expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 39 per cent over 2006, bringing the market to 982 million units by 2013.
IMS Research forecast last year that the worldwide Bluetooth market would total 1.8 billion units in 2012.
Rapid uptake of mobile handsets has helped to established a bridgehead for Bluetooth in the Asian market. In South Korea, for example, 51 per cent of mobile phones supported Bluetooth by the end of last year.
"The positive uptake in the cellular sector also produces a ripple effect for other devices," said Bae.
"With increasing consumer awareness, notebook manufacturers now consider Bluetooth to be an ideal medium for exchanging files and data with peripherals and devices such as printers and digital cameras.
"Streaming music services over mobile networks, such as Japan's Chaku Uta, will be key drivers of Bluetooth inclusion in cellular handsets."
Other local area wireless technologies could provide competition in the region, but Bae explained that Bluetooth has an advantage in its suitability for wireless audio.
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