While the first mobile phones and notebook PCs featuring Bluetooth are due later this year, the wireless technology will not really sink its teeth into the market until next year, according to a new market research report released Wednesday.

By 2005, more than 1 billion Bluetooth-equipped devices will have shipped, and total shipments of Bluetooth chips are predicted to hit 1.4 billion units, creating a market opportunity valued at £3.3 billion, according to the report, from the US-based Cahners In-Stat Group.

First-generation devices based on the wireless radio technology will allow voice and data connections within a 10-metre radius.

Initially, Bluetooth will surface in devices such as mobile phones, notebook PCs, PC Cards and adapters, according to the report, titled "Bluetooth 2000: To Enable the Star Trek Generation."

By next year, however, PC vendors are also expected to feature the technology in desktop PCs.

Although enjoying broad industry support, several industry observers have recently voiced concern over the high level of expectation surrounding the emerging technology.