ABI Research is out with a new forecast shared this week with MMW, the findings of which call for the installed base of active wireless connected devices to exceed 16 billion this year (about 20% more than in 2013).
The number of devices will more than double from the current level, with 40.9 billion forecasted for 2020, the report notes.
“The driving force behind the surge in connections is that usual buzzword suspect, the Internet of Things (IoT),” says principal analyst Aapo Markkanen. “If we look at this year’s installed base, smartphones, PCs, and other ‘hub’ devices represent still 44% of the active total, but by end-2020 their share is set to drop to 32%. In other words, 75% of the growth between today and the end of the decade will come from non-hub devices: sensor nodes and accessories.”
ABI says from every technology supplier’s strategic point of view, the critical question is how this plethora of IoT devices will ultimately be connected.
“Until recently, the choices that product OEMs have faced have been fairly straightforward, with cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and others all generally addressing their relative comfort zones,” the report authors note. “Going forward, they will be in an increasing competition with each other, so for the suppliers the strategic stakes are getting much higher.”