Bluetooth developer TDK has warned that the market will face a shakeout over the coming months if vendors do not release products that are interoperable with other devices on the market.
And Psion's exit from the handheld market (CRN, 18 July) is an indication that "natural selection" is starting to happen, said Nick Hunn, managing director of TDK Systems.
"It's a great shame to see Psion relinquish its position in handheld computing and Bluetooth development, but the company has lost focus recently. It has not diversified enough to expand its share of the market," he said.
Currently, the body responsible for setting standards and promoting interoperability, The Bluetooth Special Interest Group, has more than 2400 members. But in less that two years, Hunn predicted, this number will drop to about 500 active players.
"Bluetooth has been a real buzzword for the past few years," he said.
"The problem is that most of these companies have a computing or telecoms background and very little expertise or experience in radio frequency technology or software, respectively."
Hunn said Bluetooth has been hyped before the standards have been fully ratified, and there is a misconception about what it can do.
"There is a belief that it does everything, when it is really a complementary technology," he said.
TDK launched its latest clip-on device for Palm V users last month. The Blue5 attaches to the back of a Palm V or Vx, allowing users to dial into a network via a wireless link to a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone.
Claudette Morgan, general manager of mass storage at TDK distributor Ideal Hardware, said Bluetooth-enabled products represented a new proposition to take to customers, and would help Ideal diversify its business.
"People can see products now, and the business benefits. Once corporates see that, the momentum usually starts," she said.
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View photos of last night's awards ceremony in London
View photos of all the winners from the 2018 Channel Awards
After a glittering awards evening in Battersea celebrating 25 years of the Awards, we are pleased to share the list of winners and judges' commended winners