The future of the consumer electronics industry will be shaped by a range of disruptive themes, with the Internet of Things (IoT) being one of the themes which will significantly impact the growth of the industry. 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,Automated Home – Thematic Research. Buy the report here.
IoT describes the use of connected sensors and actuators to control and monitor the environment, the things that move within it, and the people that act within it. In other words, IoT improves the interconnection of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, via the internet, enabling them to send and receive data. In the consumer electronics industry, use cases of IoT include the automated home, the connected car, wearable technology, the automated home, and smart cities.
For IoT technology to become truly pervasive, two things need to happen: latency levels need to drop to allow real-time decision-making, and IoT deployments need to operate more autonomously. Advances in data centre technology are already pushing more intelligence to the edge of data networks, reducing latency, while Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) technology is gradually reducing the role of human decision-making in many IoT ecosystems.
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.
Insights from top ranked companies
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 also the world leader in smartwatches by revenue. Additionally, Apple is working on augmented reality devices, sometimes referred to as Apple Glass AR headsets. It is also rumoured to be working on an electric car project, although it has been typically secretive on this topic.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world leader in cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Many companies use AWS’ 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.
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. In addition, its acquisition of Fitbit in 2021 has made it a strong contender in the wearable tech segment.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on the Internet of Things.
- 3D Systems
- LG Electronics
- Magic Leap
- Seiko Epson