Shipments of smart city devices to top 1 billion units by 2025

Smart city projects in the Asia Pacific region will help drive global unit shipments of smart city devices to over 1 billion by 2025, according to a new analysis by IHS.

The report predicts that global shipments of internet-connected devices used in smart city projects will increase from 115.4 million in 2015 to 1.2 billion in 2025.

In 2015, North America, Europe and Asia Pacific each accounted for approximately one-third of all device shipments, but by 2025 the Asia-Pacific region will receive over half of the deliveries.

“Unit shipments of smart city devices to Asia Pacific will increase more than shipments to other regions for two main reasons,” explained Roz Euan-Smith, senior analyst, smart cities, for IHS Technology. “First, the region’s large population is increasingly moving to cities, which are straining under the increased pressure and demand for resources, creating a clear need for smart city development.

“Second, several national governments in the region have announced smart city development initiatives that focus on full-city development, not just trials, including India’s 100 Smart Cities program, Singapore’s Smart Nation program, and other initiatives in China and Japan.”

After countries in Asia Pacific, the United States represents the largest potential market for smart city technology because of the number of cities and metropolitan areas across the country, according to the report.

The US smart cities market is likely to be boosted by the September 2015 White House announcement of a new smart cities initiative that will invest more than $160m (£109m) in federal research and include more than 25 new technology collaborations to help local communities tackle challenges such as reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of climate change, and improving the delivery of city services.

And, of course, it’s not all about hardware.

The global market for smart city IT services is also expanding rapidly and is predicted to grow at a compound annual rate of more than 18% through to 2019, according to a recent report from Research and Markets.

The research firm found that the rollout of Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing technology to create smart grids is a key contributor to the growth of this market. Investment in smart water infrastructure (to collect meaningful data about the flow, distribution and pressure of a city’s water system) is also fuelling demand for smart city IT services.

All in all, by 2020 there could be as many as 50 billion internet-connected devices around the world, the report predicts.

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