‘Services’ drive global smart home devices market


The global penetration of smart home devices has increased by 37.3% in the first quarter of 2019 from the previous year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

IDC forecast the smart home market to grow by 14.9% through 2023, with the number of shipments reaching 840.7 million units by the end of 2019 and 1.46 billion by 2023.

The growth is driven by the growing acceptance of smart home devices including smart tvs, speakers, cameras, door locks and doorbells, according to the firm’s Worldwide Quarterly Smart Home Device Tracker.

Amazon led the market with shipments of 5.1 million units in 1Q19 whilst Google maintained second place with 4.1 million units.

Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobile Device Trackers said:  “Both Amazon and Google have continued to improve their assistants and improve stickiness with consumers. While this has raised privacy concerns and subsequently led both companies to implement privacy-related features, it has to a limited extent also provided an opening for other platform and device makers to offer a more private smart home experience and capture a small subset of the market.”

“The underlying driving force of the market is services,” adds Adam Wright, senior research analyst, Internet of Things: Consumer. “While device elements such as design and reliability are necessary for success, differentiation and margins lie elsewhere. IoT-enabled consumer products are accelerating the consolidation of value in services while diminishing the margins in the devices themselves. The breadth, depth, uniqueness, and quality of data sets will increasingly determine the value potential of a consumer IoT vendor, and as device margins fall the role of devices will largely be relegated to vehicles for service delivery.”

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.