Consumers set to drive IoT device numbers to 8.4 billion this year

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The number of IoT devices in use will jump 31 percent this year, a new report has forecast, as consumers drive growth.

The total number of IoT devices will hit 8.4 billion worldwide this year, Gartner has said, and rise to 20.4 billion by 2020.

Growth in 2017 will be dominated by the consumer market, which will account for 5.2 billion units.

By 2020 the number of consumer devices is predicted to reach 12.9 billion, while the number of enterprise-related devices will reach 7.4 billion, up from 3.1 million this year.

“Aside from automotive systems, the applications that will be most in use by consumers will be smart TVs and digital set-top boxes, while smart electric meters and commercial security cameras will be most in use by businesses,” said Peter Middleton, Research Director at Gartner.

The growth in the number of devices will push the total amount spent to $1.7 trillion this year, with businesses forecast to spend $964 billion and consumers $725 billion.

However, spending on consumer devices will overtake business in 2020, hitting $1.5 trillion in 2020. Business spending will reach $1.4 trillion in the same year.

Alongside the hardware figure, Gartner said that 2017 will also see $273 billion spent on IoT services including professional, consumer and connectivity services.

"Services are dominated by the professional IoT-operational technology category in which providers assist businesses in designing, implementing and operating IoT systems,” said Gartner Research Director Denise Rueb.

"However, connectivity services and consumer services will grow at a faster pace. Consumer IoT services are newer and growing off a small base. Similarly, connectivity services are growing robustly as costs drop, and new applications emerge."