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Industry on course for 6bn new connected devices this year

The global market for connected devices is set to reach 6.18 billion units this year, according to a new report from IHS Technology. The firm defines these devices as including mobiles, smartphones, tablets, games consoles, set-top boxes and computers. The figure is up six per cent from the 5.82 billion in 2013 – the largest increase for the market in four years.

However, production growth rates will then slow in the next few years, even though total units produced will continue to rise in absolute numbers. Between 2015 and 2017, an estimated 19.42 billion new devices will come onto the market.

“The improved growth this year of the connected devices industry marks the return of higher production as manufacturers deliver all sorts of connectivity equipment to users,” said Jagdish Rebello, senior director for information technology at IHS. “Given the voracious appetite of consumers for social media and their yen for always-on connectivity, it’s little surprise that makers will continue to turn out such devices to keep buyers engaged.”

Game consoles are forecast to enjoy the largest growth among all segments, up 45 per cent this year in light of a major product refresh late last year following a seven-year drought of new models. Tablet production is expected to rise by 25 per cent and production of mobiles by 7 per cent. Two other major equipment segments for the connected devices market that will enjoy greater production in 2014 are LCD TVs (up 5 per cent) and set-top boxes (up 7 per cent).

Categories not doing too well include digital cameras (with production expected to fall by 13 per cent) and camcorders (down 21 per cent). However, the biggest faller is likely to be the MP3 player – which not so long ago epitomised the brave new digital world – with production expected to decline by 27 per cent this year.

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