China and the US to become largest smart home markets: Report

China and the US to become largest smart home markets: Report
Analytics and consulting firm Ovum has published a new report, predicting that China and the U.S. will be the largest smart home markets, and that smart device sales will reach over 1.4 billion units by 2021.

From 224 million units in 2016 to 1.4 billion in 2021, the rise will be driven mostly by sales in security and utilities devices, such as cameras, door locks, smart thermostats and smart light bulbs, Ovum says.

The number of smart households will grow to 463 million by 2021 and each household will have 8.7 smart devices installed on average, bringing the total number of smart devices to 1.4 billion units, Ovum predicts.

The U.S. and China are named for the largest smart home markets due to high product availability and consumer interest. The rest of East Asia and Southeast Asia will also exert significant impact on the market.

Ovum’s 2021 smart home household penetration map shows that the U.S. takes the lead (69%) in adoption, followed by Canada (54%), South Korea (48%), Japan (41%) and the UK (40%).

The report puts smart home devices into five categories: utilities, appliances, security, interactive audio speakers and others. Among them interactive audio speaker is specifically mentioned.

Ovum says interactive audio speakers, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, will see the fastest growth, reaching an installed base of 192 million active devices by 2021. And the sales will grow from 5.5 million units in 2016 to 88 million by 2021.

“By using voice control as a user interface, they allow consumers to control their smart home devices in a more natural way, without resorting to apps on their smartphones or tablets, while the AI capabilities of assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant help to deliver increasingly better services,” said Francesco Radicati, the author of the forecast report.

Also, the report points to a gap between smart home DIY and using dedicated smart home services. For instance, 15.5% of households will adopt smart home security by 2021 while only 6.2% will pay for a professional security service.

The gap, as Ovum says, may offer new opportunities as companies develop new business models around smart home technology.
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