Bluetooth phone shipments up 36% in Europe

According to market data for Q3 2004 released by IDC, the Western European mobile phone market (mobile phones and converged devices) grew 24% YTY, with shipments exceeding 34 mln units compared to 27.6 mln units in 2003. Converged devices witnessed the most significant growth with 70% year on year compared to 23% in the mobile phone category, with both business and casual users attracted in growing numbers to the flexibility and functionality of an evolved operating system. However, standard mobile phones still dominate in Q3 2004, constituting over 95% of the total market.

Color screens are now found on over 80% of devices compared to just 49% in Q3 2003, while the inclusion of digital cameras on phones displayed YTY growth of over 600% to total 72% of phones sold, compared to just 11% in Q3 2003. Q3 2004 also saw the volume of handsets with megapixel resolution cameras begin to grow. 1.3 megapixel cameras are expected to become commonplace in high-end mobile phones and smartphones introduced in 2005. With growing media capability, IDC predicts vendors will increasingly include Bluetooth as standard as the ability to exchange data, in addition to connecting to wireless peripherals, becomes more important to users. Q3 2004 saw the number of devices with Bluetooth rise to 36%, constituting YTY growth approaching 200%.