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Bluetooth® Market Update: Today’s Market and Tomorrow’s Possibilities

Telink Staff

May 2, 2022


A man listening to a Bluetooth speaker

Bluetooth® continues to bounce back from pandemic-induced disruptions, with some feature categories outpacing others.

Bluetooth® SIG has released its 2022 Market Update, and with it comes insightful glimpses into the state of wireless connectivity. Overall, Bluetooth device shipments are on the upswing, with considerable progress in data transfer, location services, device networks, and audio streaming. Overall, Bluetooth SIG predicts that by 2026, over 7 billion Bluetooth-enabled devices will ship every year, with a 9 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

As Telink continues to align with what’s to come, here’s a deeper look at how Bluetooth will continue to shape the world of IoT for the next few years.

The State of the Market for Bluetooth® 

Despite the one-year forecast push the pandemic has caused, the Bluetooth market is rebounding and on track for further growth. Peripheral devices like earbuds, wireless headphones, motion sensors, smartwatches, and the like, are in greater demand than platform devices like computers, tablets, and smartphones. Bluetooth expects that 72 percent of all product shipments will be peripheral devices.

Radio systems for single-mode Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) devices are also trending upward, with three times the number of current shipments expected to reach consumers by 2026. Bluetooth Classic systems, however, have flatlined due to universal Bluetooth LE adaptation on platform devices.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Bluetooth® Shipments

Pandemic-induced shutdowns paused manufacturing, reducing supplies and delaying ongoing deliveries. Consequently, consumers ordered fewer Bluetooth-enabled devices as shipping times extended, but demand remained strong.

As the world shifted to a work-from-home environment, Bluetooth-reliant PC accessories like keyboard and mouse dongles became popular. Consumers concerned about their well-being and the whereabouts of others drove growth in fitness wearables like trackers and smartwatches, as well as Bluetooth real-time locating system deployments (RTLS).

Key Bluetooth® Offerings and Demand Drivers

Stats on Bluetooth in the market

Bluetooth’s four key offerings in audio streaming, data transfer, location services, and device networks helped drive momentum in demand even as the pandemic raged on. Here’s how each sector fared.

Audio Streaming

Bluetooth’s primary domain is still the largest. Headphones, earbuds, and speakers lead wireless radio usage, with consumers owning multiple devices per household. With Bluetooth capacity embedded in almost all speakers on the market, 374 million units are expected to ship this year alone. Audiowear is also becoming more compact — earbuds make up 39 percent of all wireless headsets purchased by consumers. For enhanced audio performance and multi–peripheral convenience, Bluetooth LE will soon take over its Classic counterpart, especially as hearing assistance devices become optimized and more readily available.

Data Transfer

One of the foundations of IoT, Bluetooth connects 35 percent of all IoT-connected devices, and this number will only increase. Consumers are still spending most of their time at home, spurring the need for a smarter abode. Home entertainment systems are surging in demand, with 432 million devices shipping in 2022. On the radar is the introduction of smart clothing to facilitate data collection for health applications, and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) will hit a 51 percent CAGR by 2026. 

Location Services

The pandemic hit this area hardest, with implementations slowing down by 25 percent. However, a rebound is forthcoming as devices are set to reach a CAGR of 25 percent until 2026. Supply chain inefficiencies are on the mend as the pandemic reaches a waning period, causing an uptick in asset tracking devices like tags and scanners. In a similar vein, healthcare organizations harness the efficiency of indoor navigation, using Bluetooth to quickly and accurately locate appropriate medical devices to save time and lives. Experts predict that 70 percent of all Bluetooth location services will include this technology by 2025.

Device Networks

The wireless network industry is one of the few to remain unphased by the pandemic. The smart home is gaining traction, and so is commercial lighting, with both solutions undergoing an impressive 20 percent CAGR for the next few years. In just this year, 552 million home automation devices will ship. And as sustainability efforts heighten, commercial lighting, which reduces energy costs by as much as 75 percent, will become a $19 billion market by 2029.

Facilitating Bluetooth® Connectivity with Telink

Telink’s extensive array of high-end, customizable semiconductor chips have helped companies and households expand connectivity. From wireless gaming to asset tracking, we understand that all technological goals are unique and you need more than a cookie-cutter solution. Whether your devices require Bluetooth Mesh, Bluetooth LE, or Bluetooth Classic connectivity, Telink has the tools and resources to build your digital future, one chip at a time.

Please visit our wiki to learn more, or ask us a question through our Technical Forum or by contacting us directly today.