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Blue skies

01 Jun 10

Bluetooth technology has evolved over recent years to be an absolute must-have for any mobile device user. Not only does Bluetooth enable connectivity on the go, it’s a convenient way to transfer data and cut the cables between other devices.
Trends in Bluetooth
Bluetooth technology in the mobile market has experienced a revolution in the past few months. It has gone from a nice-to-have component to an essential feature of any mobile device. The trend has been largely driven by the recently introduced legislation preventing hand-held mobile devices to be used while driving. This change in legislation prompted drivers not only to change their driving habits but to research appropriate solutions for staying connected while driving. The clear winner was Bluetooth technology because drivers can use Bluetooth as a platform to remain reliably connected without the worry of cables or docking methods.
Bluetooth, however, is only as good as the device that it’s being used with, so we are currently seeing a trend for users to migrate from basic models to more sophisticated and reliable devices; ones that provide a higher margin for resellers.
How is Bluetooth used?
Bluetooth technology is primarily used for voice transfer between devices. In the mobile market, Bluetooth is mostly used for connections with Bluetooth headsets or in-car hands-free kits. However there are other popular uses for Bluetooth such as transferring images and music between mobile handsets, transferring images to printers and photo kiosks from mobile devices, transferring files between smartphones and mobile multiplayer gaming.
How to make the sale
When selling Bluetooth-compatible devices for voice transfer there are some key points, which both consumers and resellers should be aware of:
  Clarity of sound – Clear sound demands a premium. Both incoming sound and outgoing sound are important when using a Bluetooth device for voice transfer. Consumers will be sold on devices that are noise cancelling and those which clean up unwanted noise sent from a third party.
  Duration of charge – Charge duration is a significant factor in choosing a Bluetooth compatible device as not all of them come with in-car charging systems and it’s not ideal for a device to go flat mid-conversation! Items that command a premium are those with a long ‘talk time’ and long standby time, devices with in-car or on-the-go charging systems and devices with solar power functionality.
  Bluetooth version – Although Bluetooth is referred to as one entity there are a number of different versions that have been released as the technology has evolved. Resellers need to ensure the devices that will be paired are compatible.
  The 100k test –Bluetooth devices can be environment dependant and driving at 100km/h entry-level Bluetooth devices tend to lose sound quality. Products that stand up to the 100k test are more beneficial to consumers over entry level models.
  Voice dial control – Many voice activated dial features are phone dependant, but unless the Bluetooth device paired with the phone supports this feature as well as the phone, outgoing calls can’t be made without breaking the law. 
  The ‘up-grader’ – This type of customer has had experience with an entry-level Bluetooth device and requires a better featured solution – the perfect opportunity to sell items that command a premium.
Overall, Bluetooth technology is now an essential feature for any mobile user. Although the initial uptake of Bluetooth compatible devices has peaked, consumers will continue to purchase more fully featured items and replacements of in-car voice items will be frequent. 

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