Not to alarm anyone, but there are over 15 billion connected IoT devices worldwide!
One would assume that given the rise of their popularity, a large number of these might only be smartphones. However, smartphones only consist of about 6.8 billion of the total connected devices globally.
The number of connected devices has steadily increased over the past 10 years and is expected to keep growing, as expected according to the above image.
The annual Connected Decade report from Assurant reveals that consumers are increasingly reliant on connected devices. The report, which surveyed over 2,000 consumers in the United States, found that 92% of respondents own at least one connected device and that 63% use their devices for more than 5 hours per day.
Increased Adoption of Connected Devices
The love for these handy little wizards is on the rise. According to the report, “In 2022, there was a 39% increase in those who said they regularly use their connected products. This marks the third consecutive year where usage has increased.”
We can credit this to the rise in 5G usage and the pandemic, which made us all rely on our devices a little bit more, a little bit sooner.
But what’s interesting is that despite the growing popularity of connected devices (including smartphones), only 39% of consumers are likely to upgrade their smartphones in the coming year, compared to 54% in the previous year. The cost of living crisis and the growing inflation is one of the major reasons for this.
While smartphones may be extremely important in today’s ecosystem, they are still a luxury compared to food and shelter.
Another reason, which is significantly more positive, is the rise in popularity of the sustainability movement. E-waste is a huge problem with the number of growing devices, and Millennials as well as Gen-Z are acutely aware of their environmental footprint. This has led to an increase in interest in refurbished devices, creating a wonderful circular economy.
While new smartphone sales are going down, other connected devices are also facing the same challenges. According to Future Market Insights, the global market dipped for connected drug delivery devices in 2022 as compared to 2021. The report credits this dip to various macroeconomic, industrial, and regulatory variables.
Value of Protection Services
Assurant's report also shows us that consumers are putting a high value on protection services for their connected devices. After all, these aren't just gadgets; they're investments, tools, and entertainment sources all rolled into one.
According to the report, 44% of consumers would be more likely to purchase a connected device if it offered a value-added service (like an extended warranty or device protection) to complement the purchase.
This also shines a light on the growing demand for protection providers like SquareTrade and Geek Squad. It is likely that these services will become more widespread and accessible across the globe in the coming years.
Single Provider Preference
Interestingly, consumers aren't just keen on protecting their devices; they're looking for a one-stop-shop experience. The report suggests that most consumers prefer a single provider for the support and protection of all their connected devices. Just like how we enjoy a supermarket's convenience, consumers relish the idea of a single point of contact for their device needs. Amazon and Google, anyone? Their customer reviews certainly hint at this preference.
'Peace of Mind' - The Major Driver
What's driving this adoption and care for connected devices? 'Peace of mind' is the keyword here. Consumers are seeking the ease and comfort that comes with connected devices, from streamlining tasks to enhancing security. The more the devices make life efficient and comfortable, the higher their appeal. In response, companies are doubling down on making devices more intuitive and responsive to give users this coveted 'peace of mind'.
What does this mean for businesses?
The connected decade is a major opportunity for businesses. By offering products and services that are compatible with connected devices, businesses can reach a wider audience and increase their customer base. businesses also need to ensure that their data is secure, as consumers are becoming more aware of the security risks associated with connected devices.
To wrap things up, the 'Connected Decade' is truly upon us, and users are embracing it with open arms. Consumers are not just adopting connected devices; they’re nurturing them, protecting them, and integrating them into their lives more deeply. As providers, businesses need to be more attuned to the requirements of users and offer more robust, long-term solutions.