The future of the application software industry will be shaped by a range of disruptive themes, with Internet of Things (IoT) being one of the themes that will have a significant impact on application software companies. A detailed analysis of the theme, insights into the leading companies, and their thematic and valuation scorecards are included in GlobalData’s thematic research report,Enterprise IoT Market Size, Share, Trends and Analysis by Region, Product (Hardware, Software, Services), Enterprise Size, Vertical (Government, Utilities, Retail, Manufacturing), Application, Connectivity and Segment Forecast to 2026. Buy the report here.
Apps help users track and control IoT devices and interpret the data that they generate. In consumer IoT, the main connected devices are smartphones, automated home appliances, connected cars, and wearable technology. For smartphones, the leading apps are created by Apple, Google, Samsung Electronics, and Tencent. In connected cars, Tesla is the market leader. In automated home and wearable tech, Amazon and Google are dominant. In the enterprise IoT segment, the leading IoT apps come from Amazon, Alibaba, Microsoft, Google, and IBM, with Oracle, SAP, and Salesforce close behind.
The platforms segment of the IoT app layer includes app enablement platforms (AEP). This is a form of Platform as a service (PaaS) meant for developers to deploy an IoT application or service at scale. Many consumer AEPs are increasingly voice-controlled. In the consumer IoT market, Apple‘s App Store is the leader and is strengthened by Apple’s Siri conversational platform. Amazon and Google also offer their own conversational platforms, Alexa and Assistant. Google has incorporated more than a million default actions in Assistant, allowing developers to integrate smartphone-like features such as smart suggestions on smartwatches. Amazon‘s Alexa is available on both its own hardware and a growing range of devices from Bose, Jabra, and iHome, among others. In the enterprise IoT segment, app enablement platforms can be used for digital twin software, for industrial control systems or for running smart cities. Leaders include ABB, Accenture, Amazon, Cisco, Huawei, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, PTC and SAP.
However, not all companies are equal when it comes to their capabilities and investments in the key themes that matter most to their industry. Understanding how companies are positioned and ranked in the most important themes can be a key leading indicator of their future earnings potential and relative competitive position.
Leading IoT adaptors in application software
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world leader in cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Many companies use AWS’s cloud platforms to process the data that drives their IoT ecosystems. It also has a range of connected devices from its family of Echo smart speakers to Ring, its camera-operated doorbell. Many of these Amazon devices are powered by Alexa, Amazon’s conversational platform. With the 2020 acquisition of Zoox, Amazon became a serious contender in the fledgling autonomous vehicles market. Also, Amazon Go stores are pioneering technology for smart, connected retail stores. Taken together, these attributes give Amazon one of the strongest IoT ecosystems in the world.
Like Amazon, Apple is a leading end-to-end player in the IoT theme. Its core product, the iPhone, which accounts for around half of total revenues, makes Apple the undisputed leader in connected devices within the IoT value chain. It processes the data collected from its smartphones on iCloud, its in-house cloud platform. It owns iOS, the software platform that powers the iPhone and the App Store, on which many apps that control IoT systems sit. Its HomeKit automated home platform lets users configure devices for their automated home using their iPhone or iPad. It is the world leader in smartwatches by revenues. It is working on augmented reality devices, sometimes referred to as Apple Glass AR headsets.
Alphabet is a leading end-to-end player in the IoT theme. Its Android operating system powers most of the world’s smartphones, and Google Play, its app store, hosts many of the apps that track and control IoT devices. Through Nest, it has developed a highly advanced smart hub to control connected devices in the automated home. Its driverless car operation, Waymo, is already a world leader. Its acquisition of Fitbit in 2021 has made it a strong contender in the wearable tech segment. After Amazon and Microsoft, it is the third-largest player in cloud infrastructure services, providing much of the IoT’s backbone. It has positioned itself as the go-to player for fully managed IoT services through its offering called Cloud IoT Core.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things.