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Market research firm In-Stat believes that the number of shipped Bluetooth-enabled devices will once again double this year to rising popularity of the short-range wireless solution for voice and data transmission.

“Mobile phones are at the core of Bluetooth’s popularity. They are in turn helping Bluetooth penetrate into other products, including notebook PCs, mono and stereo headsets, automobiles, and portable digital music players,” says Brian O’Rourke, In-Stat analyst.

This year’s shipments are forecast to be 316 million units, a total that will rise to 866 million in 2009, the high-tech market research firm says. But in order to continue gaining popularity, Bluetooth will need to constantly adapt in the face of competition that includes Wireless USB, Wireless 1394 and Wi-Fi. For instance, chips complying with Bluetooth 2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) are beginning to hit the market in 2005, providing both greater bandwidth and lower power consumption.

Results from In-Stat’s Residential Technology Survey (RTS) of typical U.S. consumers indicate increasing recognition of Bluetooth and significant interest in cordless stereo headsets.

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