The US Consumer Technology Association (CTA), formerly the Consumer Electronics Association, estimates that IoT will help drive the US consumer technology industry to a record-setting $US287 billion in retail revenues ($224 billion wholesale) in 2016. Of this it expects established products including smartphones, televisions and laptops to account for 51 percent but to contribute to only one percent of projected growth, with the bulk of growth coming from newer innovations such as wearables, virtual reality and drones.
The CTA has unveiled the latest version of its semi-annual industry report, US Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts, on the eve of CES 2016. (The complete report is available for free to CTA member companies, non-members can buy it for $US2,000 from the CTA Store.)
Specific details on IoT enabled products revealed by CTA include the following. The full details of the CTA announcement can be found here.
- Video and Audio: Connected speakers and wireless headphones are the standout categories in audio. Unit sales of Bluetooth/Airplay-capable speakers are expected to reach 17.4 million units in 2016 – a 40 percent increase – and $US1.5 billion in revenue, while sales of wireless headphones will reach 3.9 million in unit sales (increasing 30 percent), and $US623 million in revenue.
- Smart Home: CTA expects the smart home technology category – including smart thermostats, smart smoke and CO2 detectors, IP/Wi-Fi cameras, smart locks, smart home systems, and smart switches, dimmers and outlets – to reach 8.9 million units sold in 2016 (a 21 percent increase), with $US1.2 billion in revenue.
- Wearables: Led by the popularity of fitness activity trackers and smart watches, unit sales among all wearables in 2016 are forecast to reach 38.4 million units. Fitness activity tracker volumes will hit 17.4 million units in 2016 – a 12 percent increase from 2015 – with revenues reaching $US1.3 billion. Smart watches are expected to increase 28 percent to 13.6 million units, earning $US3.7 billion in revenue, an increase of 22 percent.
- Drones: CTA expects US sales of drones weighing more than 250 grams – the minimum for FAA-mandated registration – to reach one million units in 2016, a 145 percent increase from 2015’s total. When adding drones weighing 250 grams or less to those totals, the total forecast for 2016 drone sales tops 2.8 million units (up 149 percent from 2015) and $US953 million in shipment revenues (a 115 percent increase from last year).
- Virtual Reality (VR): With several notable VR headsets coming to market in 2016, CTA expects unit sales to increase by 500 percent over last year, to reach 1.2 million units sold. Total revenues are projected to reach US540 million, a 440 percent increase.