IMS Research has shared some findings indicating that the number of Internet-connected devices is expected to pass the 5 billion milestone this month. Furthermore, the organization forecasts 22 billion by 2020.
"In the first connectivity wave, the bulk of devices connected to the Internet were PCs and laptops plus their associated modem and networking equipment," says IMS Research President Ian Weightman. "Today, over 1 billion computers worldwide are regularly connected to the Internet, and this number is growing steadily."
The second wave, as IMS refers to, would be the cellular industry, combined with other emerging sectors like tablets, netbooks, eBook readers, TVs, digital picture frames, cameras, etc. These combine with the first wave to get that 5 billion estimation.
"There will be a number of drivers behind this amazing growth," Weightman says with regards to the 2020 prediction. "Firstly, by 2020 we are forecasting that there will be over 6 billion cell phones in use around the world, the great majority of which will be Internet connected. Then consider that there are around 2.5 billion TVs in use today, and that many of these will be replaced with Internet connected sets, you have another tremendous growth area. In addition, an increasing proportion of the world’s 1.1 billion cars will be replaced by models that have Internet connectivity."
"The potential for greatest growth comes from the third wave which will include machine-to-machine (M2M) deployments. This has the potential to go way beyond industrial applications to encompass increasingly sophisticated smart grids, networked security cameras and sensors, connected home appliances and HVAC equipment, ITS infrastructure, etc."
IMS is a firm that tracks installations of Internet-capable equipment. It supplies market research for the global electronics industry.