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E-book readers to rely increasingly on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

March 26, 2010 // Julien Happich

E-book readers to rely increasingly on  Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

The majority of e-book readers shipped in 2009 were 3G/GPRS enabled, but few products used other wireless technologies, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. However, this is forecast to change in the next five years, according to a new market report from IMS Research on the world market for e-book readers.

While the majority of e-book readers shipped in the next few years will continue to be 3G/GPRS-enabled, the attach rates for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are forecast to grow rapidly.

By 2015, 47% and 60% of e-book readers are predicted to be Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled respectively. Coupled with the high growth forecast for e-book volumes, this forecast increase in wireless penetration should create very healthy demand for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi IC vendors.

The main driving force behind the change is consumer demand for fast and convenient solutions to download e-books or other e-content to their readers. The integration of various wireless technologies on e-book readers makes it easier for consumers to access to different content in various locations. The upcoming high speed version of the Bluetooth standard will also make this a more compelling solution in this type of application.  

IMS Research analyst, Reggie Li commented: “In future, many e-book readers will have two or three wireless solutions installed. At the same time, since the cost of 3G/GPRS solutions is still pretty high, some low end e-book reader models will almost certainly choose less expensive wireless solutions. These two trends will result in rapid growth in the use of other wireless solutions, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, on e-book readers in the next five years”. 

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