Shipments of consumer M2M devices will reach 13.8 million in 2017
M2M devices shipped for the consumer market with cellular connectivity reached 5.3 million worldwide in 2012, yet in the next five years shipments are forecast to rocket, according to new research.
According to Berg Insight, consumer M2M device shipments will to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.1% to reach 13.8 million devices in 2017.
This relatively new breed of connected devices, neither classified as handsets, PCs, tablets nor traditional M2M devices, have strong growth potential, said the research firm. Today, e-readers and PNDs are the most common consumer M2M devices already shipping in millions.
Berg Insight stated that the consumer device market is changing rapidly and dedicated devices are facing fierce competition from multipurpose devices such as smartphones and tablets. Introducing wireless connectivity is one strategy to meet this threat and new connected products such as the Galaxy camera range from Samsung as well as smaller scale success stories such as the PocketFinder from Location Based Technologies show the market potential for cellular connected consumer devices. Emerging device categories such as personal tracking, wearable technology and digital cameras are well suited for embedded cellular connectivity and have high growth potential in the coming years. Berg Insight predicts that by 2017, smart watches will be the most sold consumer M2M device category before personal tracking devices, accounting for 23% and 17% respectively of total annual shipments. An increasing share of all content and services are delivered through the cloud and cellular connectivity gives the freedom of being connected everywhere.
'There are already over 15 million consumer M2M devices in use worldwide. Business innovation from device vendors, content service providers and telecom operators is now necessary in order to turn M2M consumer devices into a mainstream success,' said Johan Svanberg, senior analyst at Berg Insight.
The 3G connected Kindle e-reader from Amazon is the most sold consumer M2M device to date. 'A seamless integrated offering without any complicated subscription models has been key to the success,' continued Svanberg.
Mobile data plans which let users buy a bucket of data to share across several devices as well as pay-per-use models are other promising business models for consumer M2M devices, noted Svanberg: 'It is not always possible to hide the cost of data such as in the case of the Kindle, but the relationship between the benefits and costs need to be both clear and fair in order for users to be willing to pay extra for wireless data.'