As IoT sales surge, consumers still lead the way

Enterprise IoT will be mostly for specialized needs until next year, Gartner says

The internet of things will have nearly one-third more devices by the end of this year, though many of them won’t exactly be exotic.

There will be 8.4 billion IoT devices in use at the end of 2017, up 31 percent from the end of 2016, Gartner estimated on Tuesday. That's slightly faster than the growth rate last year. The number will keep growing at about the same pace until 2020, when there will be just over 20 billion devices, the research company says.

Nearly two-thirds of the connected objects in use this year will be consumer products, especially smart TVs, set-top boxes, and in-car devices such as entertainment systems and sensors that help insurance companies monitor driving. Home IoT gadgets like connected door locks and lightbulbs are still popular mostly among tech-focused early adopters, analysts say.

Enterprise IoT is playing out in a similar way, as vertical industries like manufacturing and health care lead the charge with more than 1.6 million devices for specialized needs, Gartner analyst Peter Middleton said. But in 2018, cross-industry IoT systems like connected lighting, heating and security, will start to overtake the vertical uses, he said.

Businesses already spend more than consumers on IoT, with hardware purchases hitting US$964 billion this year, Gartner says. Consumers will spend $725 billion.

IoT might grow even faster in the next few years thanks to more economical products from China, Middleton said. China’s electric utilities have done a surprisingly good job of driving down the cost of things like smart meters through competitive bidding among their suppliers, he said. What Chinese companies learn from that could lead to a wave of cost-effective products in North America and Europe that might accelerate the growth of IoT.

However, security worries might cool consumers’ love for smart-home gear, Middleton added. More incidents like last year’s DDoS attack from a botnet of insecure connected cameras and DVRs might slow down IoT growth.

“It could cause consumers to think twice about employing connected devices,” Middleton said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?