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Smart money to stay away from smart devices

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Spending on smart home devices in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is expected to decline 6% year on year in H2 2020, according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC). The global technology research and consulting firm’s Quarterly Smart Home Devices Tracker  forecasts that spending across the region for the six-month period will total $3.5 billion, down from $3.76 billion in H2 2019.   

“The stay-at-home measures introduced across the region to curb the spread of COVID-19 have caused consumers to reprioritize their investments in smart home devices, while the economic fallout has led to a more frugal approach to spending,” says Isaac T. Ngatia, a senior research analyst at IDC. “For example, we expect to see a greater focus on energy-saving devices (e.g., thermostats, smart bulbs, smart outlets, and switches) as end users look to reduce their utilities bills while having to remain at home for prolonged periods. Likewise, set-top boxes and streaming sticks are expected to see a surge in demand as consumers seek out affordable—yet varied—options to keep them entertained while at home.”

“Conversely, some previously high-value and fast-growing product categories are poised for sharp declines. Spending on smart TVs, for example, is forecast to drop 6.2% year on year in H2 2020 as consumers opt to tighten their purse strings. A global shortage of panels for smart TVs is compounding this trend by causing supply issues. Smart large appliances, which includes all powered devices designed to be used in a fixed space and not portable within the house, are expected to decline.  This is mainly due to the perceived high cost of these devices.”

Overall, IDC expects to see a deceleration in demand across all product categories for the remainder of 2020.  However, shipments should start to regain momentum next year. As such, IDC expects spending on smart home devices across the region to increase 27.7% year on year in 2021.

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