EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — The global market for Internet-enabled devices is projected to surpass 6 billion units in 2014 as new products including cellphones, tablets and computers enter the electronics ecosystem, according to a new report from IHS Technology.
Worldwide production of connected equipment will amount to 6.18 billion units this year, a 6% increase from 5.82 billion in 2013. This will be the largest increase for the market in four years, surpassed only by the 10% hike in production during 2010, according to the research firm.
IHS expects production growth rates will then slow in the next few years, even though total units produced will continue to rise in absolute numbers. Between 2015 and 2017, an estimated 19.42 billion new devices will flood the global market.
“The improved growth this year of the connected devices industry marks the return of higher production as manufacturers deliver all sorts of connectivity equipment to users,” says Jagdish Rebello, Ph.D., senior director for information technology at IHS. “Given the voracious appetite of consumers for social media and their yen for always-on connectivity, it’s little surprise that makers will continue to turn out such devices to keep buyers engaged.”
Connected devices are defined as equipment that allow users to interact with the Internet in some fashion, from as passive an activity as simply looking at photos in social media or streaming media content for consumption, to a livelier form of engagement, such as gaming in real time. The devices must possess embedded connectivity, made possible through built-in semiconductors.
Among connected devices, those expected to enjoy higher production numbers this year include video game consoles, media tablets, mobile handsets, liquid-crystal display televisions (LCD TVs), set-top boxes and mobile PCs.
In contrast, equipment markets that will suffer reduced production this year are digital still cameras, camcorders, desktop PCs, DVD players/records and portable media players.