Internet of Things Growth to Drive U.S. Tech Market

Tablets, notebooks televisions and smartphones are expected to be the major tech markets in 2016, according to a report from the CTA.

cta and iot

The Internet of things (IoT) will help lead the U.S. consumer technology industry to record-setting revenues in 2016, according to a report from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

CTA’s retail revenue projection for 2016 is $287 billion. Its wholesale revenue projection is $224 billion.

In video, smart TVs are projected to sell 27 million units in 2016, a 13 percent increase over 2015. Streaming media players will sell 15.8 million units, a 5 percent increase.

The CTA expects smart home technology, 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 over last year for a total of $1.2 billion in revenue.

"A potential growth hurdle for IoT is the multitude of standards," said Steve Koenig, CTA’s senior director of market research. "CTA’s technology and standards team is doing work in this area to facilitate greater interoperability as well as emphasizing the need for consumer tech companies to continue joint efforts to move the industry to IPv6."

Tablets, notebooks televisions and smartphones are expected to be the major tech markets in 2016. After significant growth and wide adoption over the past five years, tablet sales will continue to decline in 2016.

"In the U.S. market, smartphones are expected to sell 183 million units in 2016, earning $55 billion in revenue--the industry leader in sales once again," Koenig said.

He explained unit sales will continue to slow, earning about 2 percent growth by 2019, noting that globally, smartphones are expect to ship 1.4 billion units this year, tallying $400 billion according to CTA and GfK research.

Koenig said CTA research shows smartphones are now owned by 72 percent of U.S. households--an 8 percentage point jump in the last year.

"Smartphones have grown and reached maturity quickly but adoption growth will continue, albeit slowly, in the coming years," he said.

Meanwhile, unit shipments of traditional notebooks are estimated to reach 27.6 million units in 2016, a 2 percent increase over 2015.

Increasing sales of 2-in-1 computers, including both convertible laptops and detachable tablets, are expected to drive this category's growth, with 11.7 million units sold in 2016 (48 percent growth over last year) and $8 billion in revenue.

Following a banner year of sales growth in 2015 during which LCD TV shipments climbed 10 percent to top 39 million units, the TV market should reach a steady state in 2016.

The CTA projects revenues will reach $19 billion for all TV sets and displays in 2016, on par with 2015, as volumes drop 1 percent to just under 40 million units.