PORTLAND, Ore. — Smart video devices -- smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, games consoles, and other Internet-connected devices -- will exceed the global population by 2017, according to El Segundo, Calif. based IHS Inc. Just three years from now, by 2016, the number of Internet-connected smart video devices will be on par with the total world population, about 7 billion, and four years from now, by 2017, that number will top 8 billion when the world population is predicted to be just 7.4 billion.
The global per capita (yellow) for smart video devices--smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, games consoles, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, and PCs -- will match the population in 2016 (black dotted line) and outpace it with 8.2 billion units by 2017 (blue).
Not that everybody will be connected to the Internet by then, but on average, there will be one Internet-connected smart video device per capita. In fact, most of these devices will be in developed countries, according to IHS, where video-over-Internet-Protocol (video-over-IP) will be driving the market. Besides smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and games consoles, there will also be connected set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, and personal computers (PCs) -- albeit only 23 percent will be PCs, a far cry from the 93 percent share of video-over-IP attributable to PCs in their hay-day circa 2005.
Today, there are about 4.3 billion Internet-connected smart video devices, according to IHS, but that will grow by 90 percent in just four years, when an average of 1.1 smart video devices will be connected per capita (see figure). However, as mentioned, most of these devices will be in the developed countries of the world. In fact, according to IHS, households with broadband connections will own most of them.
IHS predicts that the average home will have just over three TV sets connected by broadband, each surrounded by just over three Internet-connected devices for an average of 10 smart video devices per household.
The fastest growth area will come as no surprise -- China, which is predicted to add 1.9 billion Internet-connected smart video devices over the next four years, marking a 20 percent growth rate for the Asia-Pacific region. North America and Western Europe, by contrast, will grow at a 10 percent rate between 2013 and 2017, according to IHS. The slowest growing region will be sub-Saharan Africa, which will add just 145 million Internet-connected smart video devices over the next four years.