Long challenged to emulate growth rates in the bellwether US market, the European smart home market and its proponents are increasingly finding a way to develop and adapt smart home offerings to suit the specific requirements of the disparate European market.
A study from ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies, explores the European smart home market and finds it at a pivotal moment in its development. During the next five years, the number of smart homes in Europe will grow more than threefold to reach 103 million homes, while annual key smart device shipments will reach more than 154 million units by 2022.
Much of that growth will be built through the direct investment and development of European companies who are broadly ahead of their US counterparts in adapting their offerings to the specific demands within Europe and within constituent European countries. “A wealth of European-based smart home providers led by global successes such as Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) as well as more locally focused players such as Hive, Tado, and Netatmo are increasingly offering European-informed smart home products well suited to the specific requirements of the market,” says Jonathan Collins. “Even so, it will be the influence of US giants including Amazon, Apple and Google and in particular, the availability of their smart home voice control platforms with European language support that will really help shape and drive the emergence of the European smart home market over the next few years.”
Attempts to replicate U.S smart home strategies in Europe have struggled, but the evolution of dedicated European smart home management offerings from telcos including Deutsche Telekom and Swisscom are driving smart home management availability. Telcos including Vodafone and BT entered the smart home services market for the first time this year and over the next five years the ability of these players as well as a growing range of smart home, smart appliance and, even, traditional non-connected home equipment vendors, to grow smart home appeal will be key. “These strategies will succeed for vendors who understand global smart home market dynamics and can apply them in relation to local capabilities,” says Collins.