Bluetooth - Ericcson getting out

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by mattroberts, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. mattroberts macrumors regular


    Oct 25, 2003
    Got this in my mail today. I think the technologies demise is not as imminent as the article suggests. They are getting out of the Silicon side of the business - most chip manufacturers do this as margins begin to slide. We'll still see BT in phones, for years to come IMHO.


    Ericsson Pulls Bluetooth

    LM Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY - message board) -- the company that invented Bluetooth -- has announced that it plans to stop making new chips using the short-range wireless technology.

    Ericsson posted an announcement about the move on its Website, saying that: "Even though large volumes are manufactured, the business case for Ericsson’s design of new Bluetooth solutions is not strong enough."

    The Swedish vendor says that is forming a new unit to support existing Bluetooth silicon customers and that its mobile units will continue to offer Bluetooth software.

    Other vendors, such as IOgear Inc., have announced that they will continue Bluetooth development.

    But the prognosis for the standard doesn't look so hot, now that one of its major backers has essentially pulled the plug.
    "It's not gone yet, but it is not going to make it long-term," says Craig Mathias, principal at the analyst and consultancy firm, Farpoint Group.

    "Ericsson made a business decision -- a good one," he chuckles.

    Ericsson started developing its concept of a wireless "cable replacement" back in 1994, which eventually led to the formation of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) in 1998.

    But the struggling standard was plagued by interoperability and pricing issues before it hit the market, leading many commentators to predict its demise even before you could find Bluetooth products in the stores (see Bluetooth 2 Postponed?).

    A stable version of the standard -- version 1.1 -- was established in 2001. Both the Asian and European markets have seen some takeup of the standard.

    However, the U.S. never warmed to the technology, and the burgeoning market for 802.11 wireless LAN home networking has largely overshadowed Bluetooth (see Bluetooth Stateside?).

    But in the end, Mathias feels, Bluetooth has been victim of its own hype, which saw the simple cable replacement technology get taken up into fancy concepts like the personal mobile gateway (PMG) idea (see Meet the Acronym Hunter).

    "They set user expectations way too high," he says. "Bluetooth was the marketing department running wild."

    — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung
  2. musicpyrite macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    That kinda sucks, I really like BlueTooth.

    You can use it for a ton of stuff like:
    syncing contacts/calanders to PDAs and Phones
    connecting to the internet via a BT phone
    transferring data between two computers

    But it't a little on the slow side for me transferring data I wish they could get above 1 megabyte per second.
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Bluetooth isn't dead by any means. Just getting commoditized. It's no panacea, but it does what it's intended to do just fine. Phones, keyboards, mice, headsets, etc.
  4. t300 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2004
    Bluetooth is here to stay, for a while at least.

    The funny thing about that article, to me, is the fact that a big part of Ericcson's new uprise in the mobile phone sector is due to a certain four letter name that precedes it's name, branded on all of their phones, that is not even mentioned in the thing.
  5. ksz macrumors 68000

    Oct 28, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    I too am warming up to the possibilities of BlueTooth. I don't it's fair to compare BT with 802.11 protocols.

    My 2004 BMW, for instance, will have BT capability in Q4 (it's available in Europe and elsewhere, but not yet in the US). In addition to a mobile phone that will integrate with iDrive, I'm looking forward to a new BT-capable iPod. Forget cables and glove compartments. Instead, have the iPod interface wirelessly with BT and display song selections on iDrive, and let me use the iDrive controller as a completely viable replacement to the click-wheel.

    The iDrive controller on the 5-Series (and soon on the new 3- and 4-series) has these movements:

    1. Rotate left and right.
    2. Slide up, down, left, and right.
    3. Press down.

    In addition, it has force-feedback similar to advanced joysticks. For example, if you're scrolling up and down from a list of 10 choices, the controller offers no friction to rotational movement. But when you reach either end of the list, the controller "jams".

    Hence, in my humble opinion, the "Seamless Integration" of iPod with a BMW will be one in which BT is used to establish a fully wireless connection to iDrive, and the iPod's own menu and song selections appear magically on the iDrive screen. Finally, the iDrive controller provides a perfect replacement for the iPod's clickwheel. Voila! Marriage made in heaven.

    There is only one fly in this ointment. Microsoft wrote iDrive. But I hope BMW will swat that fly.
  6. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    The way I understand it, Sony-Ericsson is a separate company, a joint venture between the two companies. So while LM Ericsson is getting out of Bluetooth, it doesn't necessarily mean that Sony-Ericsson is as well. At least, that's the way I read it.
  7. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    I have no real experience but I hear that BT is somewhat lousy on Windows XP and is a bit tricky even on OS X, though both are getting significantly better. That'd explain the slow market, though I still think its value is enormous.

    Many of the devices, though, would work just as well with WiFi, which is pretty common on laptops nowadays and relatively common on desktops (Ethernet is standard, so you can certainly interface with a device on your WiFi from it). Printers, for example, can use a print server to provide no-direct-connection print services to laptop computers on an 802.11 network. Many PDAs can sync over Bluetooth, but I personally find USB to be as good a solution as any.

    The real value of Bluetooth is that it can be used to turn a phone into a cellular modem while you are on the road, but WiFi is becoming standard airport (as it were) and hotel fodder. It's like a pool or HBO, something you often find at the roadside motel and aren't usually too surprised about.
  8. AmigoMac macrumors 68020


    Aug 5, 2003
    Bluetooth hasn't been the big market we (Telecommunications area) hoped, it became a great feature, other people may think you use BT because of bragging reasons, why? because a big part of the Mobile phones market has been young-people focused and even when the new phones come with that feature, they just do not care and do not know, SMS & MMS are just fine, BT has been propagated but without a big use and the real target for BT Modules manufacturers is the business people... The fact that Ericsson considers that position doesn't imply that everything will be over soon, maybe, in a long term, but I doubt it, they created a standard, now they say, use it and distribute it, but we don't continue working for it, they products for sure will have BT (Mobile phones), how long? ... This decision became a green light for other people to work on wireless standards for its replacement but for sure BT will be with us enough time...

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