Analyst: Consumer tech shipments remain healthy

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According to the latest Consumer Technologies report from advisory firm, ABI Research, most consumer devices and services, especially 5G smartphones, accessories, and Virtual Reality (VR) Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs), will remain healthy in terms of shipments in 2021 as the global economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic.

Major players, including Apple, Qualcomm, Sony, and Amazon, will continue investing in the development of smart consumer products such as Augmented Reality (AR) smartglasses, smartphones, wearables, smart home devices, and consumer robotics to meet exacting consumer needs in a post-pandemic world. The resultant adoption of hybrid working, digital learning, at-home entertainment and telehealth, all indicate the need for improved intelligent devices and enhanced connectivity capabilities.

“True wireless headsets (TWS) are among the winning sectors in the smart accessories market, with many players, especially from the smartphone industry, launching TWS to remain competitive, while at the same time, expanding regionally and promoting a connected device ecosystem,” explains Eleftheria Kouri, Consumer Technologies Research Analyst at ABI Research.  Wireless headset shipments will reach over 1 billion units in 2025, with TWS accounting for 50 per cent of sales, growing at a CAGR of 27.9 per cent between  2020-2025. Lower device costs in combination with technological innovations, such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Audio, TinyML, and built in sensors will drive demand and unlock new use cases and applications such as location-based audio sharing.

ABI Research expects that the launch of WiFi6 and WiFi6e will accelerate chip shipments because of higher demand for consumer Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as smart home appliances and AR/VR HMDs. “Consumers will favour those devices with updated protocols due to their promise of higher bandwidths, providing connectivity to a larger number of devices with limited interference,” Kouri notes. At the same time, BLE is a very promising wireless technology and is anticipated to account for 38 per cent of total Bluetooth consumer device shipments, with the most important product categories including speakers, smartwatches, and hearables by 2025, growing from 19 per cent in 2020.

“As the market gradually recovers from the pandemic, tech giants will continue the development of Merger and Acquisition deals in game-changing areas like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and voice and sound recognition in order to design smarter consumer products and services to remain completive in a fast-growing marketplace,” Kouri concludes.


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