Chinese connected device market to grow to $700 billion by 2020

The GSMA, in partnership with Machina Research, on Thursday announced that the business impact from the growth of connected devices in China will increase six fold from $116 billion in 2012 to $707 billion in 2020.

The GSMA, in partnership with Machina Research, on Thursday announced that the business impact from the growth of connected devices in China will increase six fold from $116 billion in 2012 to $707 billion in 2020.

According to the GSMA, connected devices, including smartphones, tablets, consumer electronics and machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity, are driving innovation and advancement in key industries across Asia Pacific. China’s growth in this segment leads all other countries worldwide as its economy continues to develop rapidly, backed by a vibrant and growing technology industry.

“China is not only the world’s largest mobile market, with more than one billion total mobile connections, but is using this to its advantage by creating new applications, products and services that can improve people’s daily lives and advance its economy,” says Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer, GSMA. “China has positioned mobile technology at the center of its expansion, from a booming car industry to the rapid development of new ‘smart’ cities, creating efficiencies and consumer benefits through cross-industry collaboration.”

Connected vehicles will facilitate a range of new business models in China. For example, the ability to locate and access vehicles and implement real-time charging will spur the growth of car share schemes and hire/purchase arrangements, says the GSMA. Separately, built-in connectivity is predicted to become a must-have for consumers in 2020, driven in part by the increasing global demand for plug-in electric vehicles. Machina Research estimates that together these two areas alone represent a $198 billion business impact for China’s automotive ecosystem in 2020.

The growing adoption of connected private building security – notably alarms, CCTV and intercoms – is also fuelling a huge market opportunity across the region. In China, the value of connected security systems, based on the cost of providing equivalent levels of cover without connectivity, will be worth $62 billion in 2020.

The third major Chinese industry predicted to benefit greatly from the Connected Life is utilities and essential services, which will be worth $37 billion in 2020. This market is fuelled by the need to reduce energy usage by both consumers and businesses, an area in which smart metering will play a vital role.

 “There is little doubt that the biggest impact in the region will be felt in China. As its economy continues to grow, China is increasingly turning to technological solutions to address some of the challenges caused by this growth, whether it is the use of smart meters to manage electricity demand, or road monitoring solutions to manage congestion caused by growing car ownership,” says Matt Hatton, Director, Machina Research. “The Chinese government has demonstrated its willingness to introduce innovative M2M technologies and embrace the Connected Life for the benefit of its citizens.”

The region’s second leading Connected Life market, Japan will unlock a business impact from connected devices of $344 billion in 2020. While automotive and building security are two of the largest ‘connected’ industries in Japan, the leading segment in 2020 will be assisted living. This reflects Japan’s huge requirement to find new solutions to care for its aging population, according to the GSMA. As a result, enabling better care for older people at home, including managing medications and people-tracking devices, will provide a $63 billion business impact for Japan in 2020.

Meanwhile, India will see a business impact from connected devices of $128 billion in 2020, equating to 18% of China’s Connected Life opportunity. India’s two largest connected industries, connected vehicles and intelligent buildings, are consistent with China, but development factors such as the comparative costs of M2M connectivity versus wages in India mean that manual labour will continue to be used in place of technology-led solutions up to 2020.

Health applications also dominate in many countries across the region including Australia, India and Pakistan, where mHealth services will be ranked in the top three Connected Life applications in 2020. This is spurred by the need to expand health services to the mass market of consumers, across a widespread, fragmented and predominately rural population base. However, in highly developed countries, such as Singapore, mobile technology is being adopted to address issues created by a growing, dense urban population, with smart cities and transportation creating a business impact worth nearly $1 billion in 2020.