Wearable technology is on the rise while voice calls are on the decline and device sales are hitting a plateau, Deloitte LLP predicts for 2014.
The professional services firm upheld its annual tradition of releasing its Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions for the year ahead with an event today in Toronto. Deloitte will be continuing its predictions road show for the rest of the month with visits to most major cities across the country.
Deloitte’s predictions delve into topics such as TV viewing habits, the way we receive health services, and more. We decided to highlight the mobility predictions here, and you can see all of Deloitte’s predictions in the embedded Slideshare at the bottom of this article.
Wearable technology will grow to a $3 billion market
The technology category with the best start for 2014 has to be wearables, with the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas featuring the product plans of many brand name manufacturers to enter the field, and an opening keynote from Intel Corp. showcasing its components on offer for the field. Deloitte is predicting the wearable technology market will be $3 billion this year.
“So-called smart glasses will sell millions of units at around $500 each, totalling about $2 billion in 2014,” Deloitte states in its presentation. “Sales for the rest of the wearables market – watches, wristbands, clothing and the like – will amount to about half of head-mounted gear, in dollar terms.”
As these devices become more commonplace and acceptable by fashion standards, manufacturers will face regulation by world governments in order to protect user privacy and safety. (If you thought toting around a smartphone with GPS was risky, just wait until your watch could broadcast personally identifiable information to the world.)
Least used app on smartphones? The phone
One in five Canadian cell phone users will spend just three minutes per day actually talking on their phones.
Trends show that voice calls are getting shorter and smartphone users are spending more of their phone time using other apps. With so many options to reach another person with a text message, a voice conversation almost seems antiquated. Factors driving the trend of text over voice are cost concerns and mobile social media apps. It’s possible carriers will latch on to the new niche of cell phone users who prefer texting over calling with data-based plans with pay-as-you-go voice options.
Phablets will continue to grow in popularity
That same demographic of Canadians who prefer texting to calling may want to buy smartphones with larger screens – five inches and up, in the “phablet” category of device that blurs the line between phone and tablet. Canadian phablet sales will be between 15 and 20 per cent of smartphones, and the global market even higher at 25 per cent, Deloitte predicts.
Consider that phablet sales are up 1,000 per cent since 2012 and now a $125 billion category and it makes sense that consumers will continue to adopt larger-screen devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy series. The devices offer an all-in-one appeal offering everything you’d want in a tablet with phone capabilities. That being said, two-thirds of phablet sales will be 5.1 inches and less screen size, and only 10 per cent will be greater than 6 inches. People’s pants pockets just aren’t that big, Deloitte explains.
More mobile data points
Deloitte also predicts the decade-long acceleration of sales in the smartphone, tablet, PC, TV, and gaming consoles will finally plateau around $800 billion annually.
One demographic where smartphone sales will be growing in 2014? Seniors. Smartphones will reach 40 per cent penetration with those 65 and older, and they’ll appreciate the bigger screens on phablets as well.