Why Has 802.11 Flourished And Bluetooth Failed?

The ever-opinionated Bob Frankston explains his theory on why WiFi has thrived while Bluetooth has “failed”. Some may argue that Bluetooth hasn’t failed, but it certainly hasn’t seen adoption rates or excitement levels to rival WiFi. Of course, my standard refrain is that these are two different technologies for two different purposes – but some of Frankston’s points are worth mentioning. Bluetooth was designed for a very specific purpose, instead of just creating an open technology to let people experiment with. As such, it has various limitations – and since those limitations have been built into all the “Bluetooth-enabled hardware”, we have to wait for another generation to go back and fix Bluetooth’s problems. WiFi, on the other hand, was just a general wireless protocol and has let people discover their own interesting uses for it. That, at least, seems to be the basis of the argument. Of course WiFi has its own faults and problems as well. The basis of the argument might be right, but it also has the feel of revisionist history picking up on certain points to further the argument.

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