World home to over eight billion connected devices
As of year-end 2015, the world now contains 8.1 billion connected smartphones, tablets, personal computers, TVs, TV attached devices and audio devices. On average, across the globe, this device base equates to an astounding four devices per household.
According to Principal Analyst, Connected Home, at IHS Technology, Merrick Kingston, the proliferation of media-enabled connected endpoints has implications for media consumption, media production, broadband infrastructure, and the business itself of network management and traffic discrimination. “It drives media consumption, IP traffic and more”, he stated.
According IHS Technology, year-on-year, smartphones contribute roughly half a billion new devices to the market; tablet and OTT set-tops are also growing quickly, but operate a full order of magnitude below the smartphone. By 2020, this ratio will only widen. Within the forecast period, the smartphone-to-tablet ratio rises to nearly 10:1.
The latest IHS Technology reports also noted the big changes in the wider-connected, media-enabled hardware ecosystem.
For all its early momentum, Chromecast had been unable to out-ship the Apple TV. This finally changed during the first quarter of 2016 with Apple TV shipping 1.7 million units compared to Google pushing 3.2 million Chromecasts to market. “We anticipate that this reversal will persist,” Kingston said. “Since the introduction of the fourth-generation Apple TV, Apple and Google have pursued vastly different strategies.”
The Apple TV, starting at $149, has inexorably been shuttled into the segment’s top end. The device is now positioned as a premium hub that appeals to consumers of digital video, to casual gamers and to iOS owners who are intrinsically attracted to Apple’s singular user-interface.