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Bluetooth 1.0 experiences growing pains

Over-hyped, over-priced and not over here

The initial Bluetooth specification is out, and chipmakers such as Motorola and Intel are supplying silicon for the wireless solution.

But Bluetooth-enabled devices are not appearing as quickly as many industry observers believed they would.

As with most fledgling technologies, the high introductory price point of Bluetooth has caused some equipment manufacturers, such as PDA manufacturer Palm Computing, to wait until the cost of the technology comes down.

"As soon as [Bluetooth is] practical - around the $10 mark - we'll embed it in our systems," but until then Palm will pursue attachable Bluetooth adapters for early adopters, said Michael Mace, CEO at Palm.

Other manufacturers, such as Fujitsu, have hinted that Bluetooth's present power requirements make the technology unsuitable for its mobile offerings and will not introduce any Bluetooth-enabled devices until early 2001, according to a source within Fujitsu.

"Maybe some of the expectations [about Bluetooth] were created in advance of the reality, but the power and price issues work on typical industry curves and will settle in with time," said Gary Silcott, marketing communications manager for Motorola.


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