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Zeevo CEO raises the bar on quality audio over Bluetooth

Scott Macomber, president and CEO of Silicon Valley semiconductor provider Zeevo, told a Taiwan audience that with the coming explosion in wireless digital audio applications, an important new market was opening up for original device manufacturers (ODMs), particularly those who can turn quickly to meet the coming year-end "high season" with attractive products.

However, he cautioned, consumers would demand the same level of quality from wireless audio that they have become accustomed to with their wired iPods and other mobility stereo players. In addition, user-convenience features such as transparent shifting from cell phone calls to music on emerging "converged" MP3 cell phones would be key product differentiators. Macomber was speaking to an audience of developers at the Bluetooth Audio Solutions Seminar, held at Taipei's Agora Garden Hotel.

The market for Bluetooth transceiver chips is forecast by IDC to increase from approximately 68 million units in 2003 to more than 500 million in 2006. Part of this is driven by a rapid penetration of Bluetooth into the cell phone market, predicted to rise from a current 7 percent to 65 percent by 2007, and additionally by the general rise of a Bluetooth ecosystem, particularly in Asia and Europe. But it is new applications that will really drive Bluetooth penetration, maintained Macomber, and high among these will be quality audio.

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