"Five million units shipped validates the sizeable market for Bluetooth technology -- every time you blink an eye, another ten Bluetooth chipsets see the world," Michael Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG, said in a statement.
The first Bluetooth specification was released in 1998, but the ramp-up was initially slow. It wasn't until 2003 that the number of enabled devices started ramping up quickly and the Bluetooth SIG claims that as many as 500 million enabled devices will have been sold by the end of this year.
However, even as the number of Bluetooth devices increased, questions remained about whether people were actually using the technology. The Bluetooth SIG tried to deal with those questions recently by announcing that it will merge its technology with that of ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, which provides far faster throughput. Foley said that the merger will cement Bluetooth's role.
"When you couple (the merger with UWB) with the recently announced collaboration between the Bluetooth SIG and UWB, Bluetooth technology will further reinforce its leading position far into the future," Foley said in his statement. "Even today, we expect this will have a positive impact in Bluetooth uptake."