Thanks to much stronger growth in wearable systems after the launch of Apple’s smartwatches in April, IC Insights has increased its forecast for total Internet of Things (IoT) sales in 2015. The market researcher expects revenues for network communications, sensing, and control functions in subsystems and devices attached to IoT to grow 29 percent in 2015 to $62.4 billion after increasing 21 percent in 2014 to about $48.4 billion.
IC Insights segments the industry into five IoT market categories: connected homes, connected vehicles, wearable systems, industrial Internet, and connected cities. There is still a debate over whether the wearable systems segment will evolve from a niche to a major end-use category. However, in the short-term, thanks to Apple’s smartwatches, which uses lots of ICs, sensors, and other components, there has been a jump in semiconductor shipments and sales to wearable IoT systems, said IC Insights analysts.
IC Insights isn’t the only market researcher projecting big numbers. A recent report available from ReportLinker forecasts the global wearable computing market, alone, to reach $34.61 billion by 2020 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.7 percent between 2015 and 2020. Wearable technologies are finding homes across industries, including medical, fitness and wellness, infotainment, military and industrial applications.
The updated IC Insights forecast for IoT-related revenues (excluding Internet servers, network infrastructure, and cloud-computing systems) calls for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) increase of 21.1 percent from 2013 to 2018, reaching $104.1 billion at the end of the forecast period. New connections to the IoT are forecast to increase 40 percent in 2015. This translates into 574 million new Internet connections attached to a range of devices including embedded systems, sensors, instruments, vehicles, controllers, cameras, and wearable electronics.
IoT connections increased 45 percent to 410 million in 2014, up from 282 million in 2013, according to IC Insights. Analysts expect the total installed base of connected things on the IoT to reach 13.2 billion units worldwide in 2015 compared to 3.1 billion users utilizing computers, cellphones, and other system applications over the Internet this year. IC Insights projects more than 25 billion systems and objects will be attached to the Internet compared to about 4.4 billion human users by the end of the decade.