Smart home tech is thriving right now – Ars Technica
Enlarge / The smart home market grew in Q3.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in people spending more time in their homes. And while that has led to investments in home offices and banana bread baking bonanzas, it also gave people a reason to try out some new smart home tech.
According to numbers that research firm IDC shared today, the smart home market has survived “persistent supply chain disruptions, unemployment, and an uneven economic recovery,” leading to growth of 10.3 percent in Q3 2021 over Q3 2020.
“The smart home market continues to fare better than other consumer goods during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, although to varying degrees in different regions,” Senior Research Analyst Adam Wright said in a statement. “By and large, consumers have shifted their spending priorities from other areas like vacations and going out to eat to focus on adding more comfort, conveniences, and entertainment at home.”
Entertainment devices were the big winners. Smart TVs and streaming players sold the most units, representing 35.3 percent of smart home shipments during the quarter, according to the research firm. That category was followed by smart home security products (20.4 percent). Still, worries about privacy remain an obstacle for market growth.
On a global scale, demand has risen due to greater access to broadband, “rising disposable incomes,” and more awareness of smart home products.
The US saw the most smart home shipments, with quarter-over-quarter market growth of 9.5 percent, the IDC said.
Jitesh Ubrani, the IDC’s research manager for mobile device trackers, noted that the average selling price for smart devices increased “upwards of 3 percent.” He attributed the hike to new feature sets and disruptions in the supply chain. The average price of a smart TV, for example, is up by nearly 7 percent as OLED becomes more popular, Ubrani said.
IDC’s report on smart homes comes the same week that the firm predicted PC shipments will drop 3.4 percent during the holiday quarter, and tablets will fall 8.6 percent. Another category of connected personal devices, wearables, saw growth of 9.9 percent in Q3 2021, according to IDC.