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HomeEditor's PickTSR Market Update: Bluetooth Low Energy Market

TSR Market Update: Bluetooth Low Energy Market

An article by Takeshi Niwa, Marketing Analyst at Techno Systems Research Co., Ltd, based on TSR’s market research report 2023 Wireless Connectivity Market Analysis.

With the inflation and slowdown in macro-economic growth, the Bluetooth device market is estimated to decrease by 6.3% on YoY to 8.07 billion units in 2022, as a result of the significant decrease in the market for host devices such as smartphones, PCs, TVs… and the saturation of Bluetooth audio application market.

Despite the weak consumer demand, BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) market has been growing in 2022 and 2023 thanks to the expansion in industrial automation, home/building/retail automation, healthcare, automotive and so on. Bluetooth has been expanding new application and use cases along with the introduction of new standards and features.

Bluetooth Device Market Forecast by Device Type

Host Type Device: Mobile Phone, PC, Tablet, TV, Set Top Box, OTT Box, Game Console, Smart Speaker, Car Infotainment, Industrial Handheld Device (Computer, Tester, Diagnosis, Barcode Scanner…), POS, etc.

The Bluetooth device market is estimated to shrink slightly to 8.01 billion units in 2023 due to weak consumer demand and inventory correction. However, Bluetooth device market is estimated to rebound in 2024 after the inventory digestion, and improved consumer spending. Bluetooth market will grow by mid to low single digit after 2024, will surpass 10 billion units by 2028.

Dividing Bluetooth application into host type devices such as smartphones, PCs, and TVs, and peripheral/accessory type devices, the market for host-type devices has matured and will decline significantly in 2022-2023. The peripheral/accessory type devices market grows in 2023 onwards, driving the growth of the Bluetooth market. Peripherals and accessories are estimated to account for 65% of the total Bluetooth market in 2021, growing to just under 73% in 2028. Bluetooth adoption will expand in various devices such as HID (Human Interface Device), remote controller, proximity tag/ asset tracking, home/building/retail automation, smart lighting, automotive accessory, mobile accessory, healthcare, and so on.

Single Mode Bluetooth Low Energy Device Market Forecast

Single mode BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) device market estimation is based on the shipments of BLE chip. This includes IEEE802.15.4+BLE multi-protocol RF chipset. WiFi + BLE combo SoC is excluded.

In 2021, the BLE chip market expanded strongly by 44% YoY to 1.57 billion units. 2021 growth was partly contributed by the inventory buildup in user companies and channel. Strong demand continued by the first half 2022, but the demand decline and inventory adjustment began in the second half of 2022. 2022 market growth is estimated to remain at 9.4% YoY. The consumer, PC and mobile application market remains weak, but industrial and automotive applications will grow. Overall market growth is estimated at 4% in 2023.

After 2024, in addition to the economic recovery and inventory normalization, BLE device market is expected to show strong momentum due to the expansion of new applications such as audio, automotive digital key and TPMS(Tire Pressure Monitoring System), commercial tag, smart lighting, access control (door lock), electric shelf label, smart metering, and EV charging pile. Some of the application market will grow along with the new features such as Periodic Advertisement with Response (for electric shelf label), Channel Sounding (secure access), LE audio/Auracast (for hearing aid and public speaker). Bluetooth adoption in Matter standard also support Bluetooth penetration in smart home market.

Though BLE has been used in broad range of IoT devices, the main volume application of BLE chip are as follows in descending order: 1.remote controller, 2.tag/beacon (proximity, asset tracking), 3.wearable (smart watch/ activity tracker), 4.HID (mouse/keyboard/digital pen), 5.home/building automation (lighting, door lock/access control, remote switch, sensor…), device.

In 2022-2023, while the volume of BLE shipments for tag/beacon (proximity/tracking), home/building automation, home/building automation, healthcare, and automotive accessories will increase. BLE IC shipment for wearable decreases significantly as BLE has been replaced by Bluetooth Audio SoC, with the emerge of voice enabled smart watch market in India, China and other developing countries. Remote controllers and HIDs market volume remains flat in relation to the sluggish market for PCs, tablets, TVs, and set-top boxes.

Bluetooth Low Energy IC Market Share

There are over 50 BLE IC suppliers and market share is quite fragmented. However, Nordic Semiconductor keeps top spot since 2014. Nordic establishes leading position in BLE IC market by growing developer community with mature SDK, reference design, low power RF design and flexibility in memory.

In 2022, Nordic, Realtek, Telink, Renesas, and PHYPlus are recognized as top 5 supplier in shipment unit, followed by SiLabs (SiliconLabs), NXP, STMicroelectronics, Qorvo, Infineon, and TI (Texas Instruments). Nordic, PHYPlus and NXP gained the market share in 2022, while Telink, Renesas and Realtek dropped in market share.

The main supplier differs by end market and application. The table below shows the main BLE IC suppliers by application.

Major BLE SoC Supplier by Application

IC Supplier

Smart Watch
Renesas, Ambiq Micro, Realtek, OnMicro

Activity Tracker
Renesas, Ambiq Micro, PHYplus, Realtek, OnMicro, Beken

Remote Controller
Realtek, Telink, Qorvo, Atmosic, Nordic

Nordic, Renesas, Infineon, Pixart, Telink, Realtek, Beken

Nordic, Renesas, TI, SiLabs, Infineon, ST

Energy Harvesting/Ambient IoT
Atmosic, EM Microelectronics, InPlay, OnSemi, Renesas, TI, WilioT

Home/Building Automation
Nordic, Telink, SiLabs, NXP, Infineon, PhyPlus

Healthcare Device
Nordic, NXP, TI, Infineon, Dialog, OnSemi

Automotive (Smart Key, TPMS)
NXP, TI, Renesas, Infineon, Senasic, Beken

Chinese low cost BLE IC suppliers takes major share in activity tracker, remote controller, HID, mobile accessory, and PC accessory. On the other hand, Western IC suppliers are relatively strong in the tag/beacon (industrial/commercial asset tracking), healthcare, and automotive.

Energy Harvesting and Ambient IoT are attracting attention in the fields of tag/beacon, tracking and proximity. Energy Harvesting and ultra low power BLE IC suppliers are Atmosic, InPlay, OnSemi, WilioT, EM Microelectronics, and Renesas.

For automotive, NXP and TI are the popular BLE IC supplier. In addition, major automotive IC suppliers such as Infineon and Renesas aims to enter the automotive BLE IC market. Moreover, there is a demand for domestic Bluetooth IC suppliers in the Chinese market, and Beken, Senasic and others are developing Bluetooth ICs for automotive.

This article and data is based on our market research report “2023 Wireless Connectivity Market Analysis”, published on July 2023. Download summary here. Please contact TSR if you are interested in detail.

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