I am working on a device which I may want to consider mass producing. The device connects to a smartphone over a Bluetooth connection. For prototyping purposes I have used the very common HC-05 module which makes life very easy. But I do not expect that this device would be ideal for mass production as I can't find a good source for a lot of them and they are expensive (perhaps I am wrong about these arguments) as opposed to a SoC. I was considering the NRF8001 but the problem is that it seems to be a Bluetooth low energy chip, so a lot of older smartphones won't support this. I read somewhere that this chip supports both BLE and Classic, but can't find out about this definitively. I pretty much read through the entire data sheet, and am quite happy with the way this chip is expected to work otherwise and am ready to purchase the $99 dev kit.
I also found the CC2560 from Texas Instruments, but I can't find a lot of information on it aside from the TI website, so am not sure if it's the best solution. I'd rather use something popular so that I can get more support.
I am relatively new to the world of embedded systems, and I definitely do not intend for this to be a shopping question, but I would like to know what you all recommend (i.e. are any of the above solutions viable, or are there other chips/modules out there I should consider)? I find the SPP (Serial Port Profile) very easy to use, and substantial for my needs.
I don't have any intense technical requirements. If I can send a byte of data every second or so, I am more than happy. The range does not need to exceed 5-6 meters. I am interfacing the Bluetooth chip with an AVR microcontroller. I am fine with using the USART, SPI, or I2C to communicate. In terms of cost, it should be a cheap solution ($3 - 7). Using things like Rn-42, JY-MCU, etc. are fine for proof of concepts, but don't make the cut for mass production.
Please let me know if I need to add any more information.