Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the market for the Internet of Things continues to grow.
In 2020, for the first time, there are more IoT connections (e.g., connected cars, smart home devices, connected industrial equipment) than there are non-IoT connections (smartphones, laptops, and computers). Of the 21.7 billion active connected devices worldwide, 54% will be IoT device connections at the end of 2020. By 2025, it is expected that there will be more than 30 billion IoT connections, almost 4 IoT devices per person on average.
This is one of many findings in IoT Analytics’ latest reports State of the IoT Q4 2020 & 2021 outlook as well as the updated Cellular IoT connectivity & LPWA Market Tracker 2010-2025 (Q4/2020 update).
Compared to an analysis performed in mid-2018, IoT Analytics has now raised its forecast for the number of connected IoT devices in 2025 (from 21.5 billion to 30.9 billion). Several factors are driving the growth, most notably:
- China. IoT has been booming in China at levels that seemed unimaginable a few years ago. While in 2015, for example, Chinese telecom companies accounted for roughly one quarter (27%) of all cellular IoT connections, this number has shot up to 75% in 2020 with China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile leading the global cellular IoT connections market.
- Personal and home devices. The pervasive use of personal IoT devices such as fitness wearables further accelerated in the last 2 years and is expected to continue to do so. The introduction and subsequent adoption of a new generation of ecosystem-enabled smart home devices such as the Amazon Echo led to faster adoption of connected home devices than previously assumed.
- LPWA. Counting a mere 10 million connections in 2015, the global market for low-power wide-area (LPWA) connectivity was quasi non-existent 5 years ago. LPWA enables IoT connections for remote battery-powered devices such as smart meters, containers in logistics, or critical infrastructure like fire hydrants in cities. In 2020 this market reached 423 million IoT connections and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 43% to reach 2.5 billion IoT connections by 2025.
Going forward, IoT devices are expected to continue to grow much faster than the quasi-saturated market of non-IoT devices. The current forecast is that there will be 30.9 billion connected IoT devices by 2025 further driven by new technology standards like 5G.
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