Friday, December 08, 2006

Bluetooth smacks down UWB in 2007

Gartner Dataquest is quite bullish on Bluetooth as the rising tide in consumer personal area networks for 2007, much less so for ultrawideband. That's an interesting reality check given UWB clearly whomps BT's backside with waaaay more bandwidth.

Bluetooth is in about a third of the 800 million cellphones this year, rising to some 72 percent by 2010, according to a briefing by Dataquest analysts in San Jose today. BT also has a play as a headset attachment for portable media players like the iPod. UWB is in approximately zero phones and MP3 players now and still under the market watcher's radar for the next couple years.

So where's UWB? "It's initially a [USB] cable replacement for PCs, but it will take time to move into consumer electronics and particularly portable devices, because UWB really taxes a battery when you are in streaming mode," said Jon Erensen, a consumer analyst for Gartner Dataquest.

Perhaps like Bluetooth before it, UWB will have to fall from its hype phase into a phase when we declare "UWB is dead" before it comes roaring back in a few years.--rbm

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