Global sales of wireless Bluetooth headsets for mobile phones rose 153 percent to 33 million units in 2005, representing a wholesale value of $1 billion, and are expected to grow 70 percent in 2006, according to a survey released last night.
Motorola the world’s second biggest mobile phone maker, controlled 28.2 percent of the Bluetooth headset market, according to market research group Strategy Analytics.
Denmark’s GN Store Nords Jabra unit was second with 16.3 percent and Plantronics third with 12.3 percent market share.Popularity of the devices was fueled by falling prices for Bluetooth headsets as well as traffic laws in many countries which require hands-free calling while driving.
The cheapest Bluetooth headsets sell for around $65.00 Sales to-date have been dominated by mono headsets for mobile voice, said Chris Ambrosio, director at Strategy Analytics.
“Looking forward, future revenue growth will increasingly be driven by the need for stereo headsets in mobile music and rich media, like TV,” he said. “However, with average retail pricing in excess of $100 today, stereo Bluetooth headset prices will need to fall by more than 50 percent in order to hit the mass-market sweet spot, which we find to be below $50.”
Around one in every eight Bluetooth phones sold in 2006 can beam a stereo sound signal to a stereo Bluetooth headset. Bluetooth is a short-range radio technology currently mostly used to connect cell phones to separate devices like headsets or microphones.