Gartner dials down IoT forecasts

Fewer babies born and less money to spend on the military means revised predictions for 2020

Gartner has dialled back its forecasts for the expected number of Internet of Things devices shipped, and the amount spent on them in 2020.

The research firm says there will be 100 million fewer connected ‘things’ sold in 2020 than it had forecast last year. However, the revised prediction for the total number of units in 2020 remains high at 6.5 billion.

The prediction for the total spend on hardware three years from now has also fallen to US$2.9 trillion, down three per cent from Gartner’s original estimates made in 2015. Spending on IoT related services is also predicted to be less than first thought, down two per cent.

The revision of the forecast was down to a number of factors, Gartner said.

The more conservative device count took into account a delay in the adoption of consumer smart electric sockets and adapters, and falling fertility rates across the developed world meaning fewer IoT baby monitors would be needed.

The lower than first forecast total spend on IoT devices and services came after reconsideration was given to the average selling prices of smart TVs and connected cars coming down over the next few years. “Economic weakness in major spenders” for military technology, such as the UK and Russia, led Gartner to predict fewer connected vehicles and drones would be bought.

Despite the minor revision, the baseline is high. Gartner forecasts that 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide this year, up 31 per cent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020.

Total IoT services spending, which covers enterprise and consumer services, is on pace to reach USD$273 billion globally this year.

This year and beyond these services will be dominated by the professional IoT operational technology category in which businesses contract with external providers to design, install and operate IoT systems, Gartner said.


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