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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow Automotive arrow A Bluetooth Technology Predicament for Car Manufacturers
A Bluetooth Technology Predicament for Car Manufacturers PDF Print E-mail
Written by IMS Research   
09 Oct 2007

October 10th 2007

Bluetooth technology now features in around 500 million handsets in 2007 worldwide; the majority of people have heard of Bluetooth technology and many are using the technology. Consequently, it came as no surprise when Bluetooth technology moved into our cars.

The Bluetooth technology handsfree profiles (HFP) featured into over 4 million new cars’ head units worldwide in 2006 and IMS Research forecast the market is to experience a growth of over 300% in the next 5 years. Despite Bluetooth technology audio streaming profiles (A2DP) still being a relatively new market, the growth in this segment looks to become a lot more prolific over the coming years.

So it would appear to be a win-win situation for everyone…….or so it would seem!

Not every automotive manufacturer is ‘high-spirited’ in regards to Bluetooth technology and another entangled dilemma is emerging; the inclination given is that some automotive specialists believe that Bluetooth technology isn’t ‘playing fair’.

When implementing new applications into a vehicle, it is widely recognised that car manufacturers face numerous difficulties, such as long car design cycles, interoperability and safety testing

Up until 1st August 2007 there had been no new Bluetooth technology specification announcements for three years and the specification used was version 2.0 +EDR. However, most recently in a short space of 18 months three major announcements have been made regarding Bluetooth technology; Bluetooth technology specification 2.1+EDR, Bluetooth technology High Speed and Ultra low power Bluetooth technology. There is a feeling amongst industry insiders that that automotive industry can not keep up with the rate that Bluetooth technology is evolving. This difficult situation could fundamentally perturb the relationship between Bluetooth technology and automotive manufactures.

On one hand, the concerns of OEM manufacturers are quite rightly justified. Based on the fact that the average design-cycle of a car is 4-5 years and getting new technology approved is a lengthy process, additional Bluetooth technology functionality implemented in a vehicle today is going to be quickly be out dated. The question being asked is could these evolutions deter Bluetooth technology from featuring in new cars?

However, on the other side of the argument; many have concluded that this is simply the nature of technology and innovation is unquestionable. The gains that can be experienced by the new specifications can only enhance Bluetooth technology’s use case scenario in the vehicle. Furthermore all Bluetooth technology specifications have backward capabilities and there is potential to make the hardware upgradeable which would therefore resolve these issues.

If you would like an interview with an expert in this area, please contact Alison Bogle, Marketing Manager, at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or +1 412-441-1888.

Last Updated ( 01 Jan 2009 )
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