Gartner Forecasts 20 Billion Internet of Things Devices By 2020

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 11, 2015

News of the Internet of Things ramping up has been flowing in all year, but it looks like next year is when we'll see the hockey stick effect make its mark. Gartner analysts estimate that there will be 6.4 billion connected devices in 2016, up 30 percent from this year.

That falls right in line with some other forecasts arriving now.

Gartner is also predicting a four-fold increase in the number of Internet of Things devices that are connected by 2020, from today's 4.9 billion to nearly 21 billion.

Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will support total services spending of $235 billion in 2016, up 22 percent from 2015. Services are dominated by the professional category (in which businesses contract with external providers in order to design, install and operate IoT systems), however connectivity services (through communications service providers) and consumer services will grow at a faster pace.

"IoT services are the real driver of value in IoT, and increasing attention is being focused on new services by end-user organisations and vendors," said Jim Tully, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

"Aside from connected cars, consumer uses will continue to account for the greatest number of connected things, while enterprise will account for the largest spending," said Mr. Tully. Gartner estimates that 4 billion connected things will be in use in the consumer sector in 2016, and will reach 13.5 billion in 2020.

All of this falls in line with what we heard from Philip DesAutels, head of the AllSeen Alliance, in our interview with him earlier this year (he is shown above).  DesAutels forecasted that the next few years will be critical for the growth of IoT:

“In five years, I think all of this will be around us everywhere, in everything,” he said. “Predictions that were made three and four years ago have already come true in terms of the ubiquity of bandwidth, connectivity, the availability of radios, and more. We are going to have a lot of power to orchestrate the experiences that we want.”

“The next phase is going to be the really transformational phase,” DesAutels noted. “Systems around you will have a whole lot more information. They’ll be able to deliver a lot more value.”