How Many IoT Devices Are There in 2021? [All You Need To Know]

Internet of things (IoT) emerged as a concept about 20 years ago and is now making headlines around the world. Everyone talks about connectivity, smart devices, real-time data extraction, and that’s why we continue our IoT series here on TechJury.

2021 IoT Insights

  • With 1.3 billion projected subscriptions by 2023, IoT is about to experience another boost by the 5G technology.
  • By 2022, Google Home will have the largest IoT devices market share, at 48%.
  • The average number of connected devices per household in 2020 was 10.
  • By 2021, 35 billion IoT devices will be installed around the world.
  • The number of connected devices in 2021 will be 46 billion.

IoT is everywhere. It surrounds us from the moment we get out of bed to the second we go back home. We are talking about lots and lots of devices, gadgets, machines, buildings, and more, that connect to the Web.

Still, to show you how big the industry is, we’ve gathered some numbers to show you how big IoT is in 2021.

How Many IoT Devices Are There in 2021? 

IoT is a rapidly growing industry. There are a predicted 46 billion connected devices for this year alone, while 31 billion devices will be installed worldwide by the end the year. 

So, how many IoT devices are there in 2021?

The answer is not very simple, but here are what stats say:

1. The number of connected devices in 2021 is set to hit 46 billion.

(Source: Juniper Research)

According to Juniper Research’s latest report, the number of IoT devices in 2021 will reach the eye-opening 46 billion. For comparison, this is a 200% increase compared to 2016.

2. By the end of 2021, 31 new billion IoT devices will be installed around the world.

(Source: Security Today)

If you’ve ever wondered how many new IoT devices there will be by 2021, we can now tell you – around 31 billion. Meaning that by the end of 2021, 31 new billion IoT devices will be in use worldwide. A significant rise in the existing number of IoT devices last year.

3. By 2030, this figure is expected to jump to 125 billion.

(Source: Martech Advisor)

So, you know how many devices are out there. But what about the future?

It is expected that every customer of IoT devices will own around 15 connected devices. Quite a jump from the average number of devices currently owned.

4. The average number of connected devices per household in the US in 2020 was 10.

(Source: Statista)

Subsequently, households may be investing in more connected devices because of the demand for home gateways, devices that actually bring the internet into homes and allow Wi-Fi throughout.

5. The IoT market value will be over $500 billion by 2021.

(Source: Statista)

Industry players predict that the market share for IoT connected devices will be worth a whopping $520 billion by Q4 of 2021. The system integrations category will account for 22% of this figure.

6. 35% of manufacturers utilize data from automation in manufacturing.

(Source: GlobeNewsWire)

We mostly think of IoT applications to be at home and perhaps the office. Stats for the usage of IoT devices in 2021, however, show that pops up in manufacturing as well.

Over a third of manufacturers used data from sensors or analysis. The technology contributed to an improvement in factory functions hence a competitive edge.

7. By 2022, Google Home will have the largest IoT devices market share, at 48%.

(Source: Futurum Research)

There are a number of different smart speakers out there. However, Google Home is expected to have the largest slice of the pie at 48%, followed by Amazon Alexa at 37% and finally the Apple HomePod at a mere 12%.

8. The use of low-power networking systems and satellites will grow by 20% in 2021.

(Source: IoT World Today)

In the last few years, there has been a lot of focus on the application of 5G technology in relation to IoT. Statistics show that the adoption of satellites and other technologies will grow by a quarter to power IoT devices by 2021.

Therefore, companies or homeowners will have various options to choose from. Home lighting and factory machinery, for instance, don’t need to use the same connectivity. People should also consider cost, speed, or even safety. 

9. There are currently six main categories for IoT wireless tech.

(Source: BEHRTECH)

They include:

  • LPWANs. – provide long-range communication on small, cheap batteries that last for years. Their aim is to support large-scale IoT networks over large sites.
  • Cellular (3G/4G/5G) – phone networks help with phone calls and video streaming. However, they are expensive to run and are very power-intensive.
  • Zigbee and other mesh protocols – short-range, wireless, and low power standard using sensor data and nodes. Boasts high data rates but isn’t power-efficient as LPWAN.
  • Bluetooth and BLE – short-range communication tech which enables data exchange across multiple nodes. A low power version was invented for small consumer IoT applications.
  • Wi-Fi – not as common in the IoT space due to problems with scalability, coverage, and power use.
  • RFID – known as radio frequency identification, radio waves transmit data from an RFID tag to a reader at a short distance. Commonly used for logistics and retail.

10. The smart home market will grow by $54 billion by 2022.

(Source: Statista)

The smart home segment is expanding rapidly. Predictions are that it will increase by nearly $54 billion in 2022. People will focus on entertainment, lighting, appliances, and temperature. 

11. By 2025, the IoT data volume will be 79.4 zettabytes.

(Source: Statista)

Have you ever wondered how much data all those internet-connected devices consume? 

The figure is unimaginably staggering.

Experts predict that data usage will be about 80 zettabytes by 2025. The so-called Big Data 2.0. That’s simply mind-blowing!

12. The number of networked device ownership worldwide will be 3.6 per person in 2023.

(Source: Cisco)

According to the Cisco IoT forecast, ownership of the interconnected machines will double by 2023. On a global scale, 2.1 per capita will be the increase in possession of connected gadgets in the next few years compared to 2018 data.  

The break down in different regions is as follows:

  • 13.4 in North America
  • 3.1 in South America
  • 9.4 in Western Europe
  • 4.0 in Eastern and Central Europe
  • 1.5 in Africa and the Middle East

But how many IoT devices are there, you ask? Well, to answer this, we must first look at what an IoT device is.

What is IoT?

Connected devices have been around for decades. A PC is a connected machine, but it is not an IoT device. Simply put, an IoT device is something that has an internet connection, even though it usually shouldn’t.

Your smart boiler is an IoT device. You talk to it using an app on your smartphone. You tell it to heat water so you can take a shower when you get back home.

According to Statista, there are about 21.5 billion interconnected devices in the world. Their number is set to explode in the following years as internet consumption rises and new gadgets and machinery hit the market. However, IoT will also be integral to civil and industrial infrastructure. It includes devices in every aspect of life.

The smart devices you see every day are a tiny part of IoT. The whole segment is set to shoot up in the next few years. Funny thing is, 21,500,000,000 was predicted to be the number of IoT devices by 2025. We have more than this today.

Most of those machines will not be in your home. They will be in factories, shops, hospitals, schools – you name it. According to Intel, the global market for IoT technology will reach $6.2 trillion by 2025.  30% will come from healthcare, which will rely heavily on IoT.

If you want to know more we have an article explaining what IoT is in more detail.

A Wide Variety of IoT

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the number of devices connected to the internet is so high. But what types of IoT devices are there?

Consumer Products

Smart consumer electronics fall into this category. Smartwatches, kitchen appliances, home assistants, IoT light bulbs, security cameras, even your trash can.

All these devices are part of the smart home concept, whose purpose is to make your life easier and more efficient while saving electricity.

It is also the most visible part of IoT as we interact with it every day. No matter where you live, expect the number of connected devices in your home to grow.

Industrial Machinery

Pumps, carts, industrial washing machines: everything that used to be off the grid is now becoming internet connected. IoT devices are powering a shift in many segments of the economy.

They work faster and smarter. They save time and energy, reduce costs and lower the risk of human error. With so many advantages there’s no wonder intelligent industrial machinery is on top of the IoT trends.

Infrastructure

Smart buildings, anyone? How about highways that monitor the traffic and create electricity on their own? IoT infrastructure is already happening and will be a factor in economic growth for years to come. Powered by many sensors that gather real-time data about the environment, IoT infrastructure will be at the heart of almost every industry.

Not to mention urban life. Highly populated areas will become more and more dependent on data and IoT infrastructure. This, in turn, will undeniably fuel IoT growth.

Fleet and Logistics

This category includes vehicles, ships, aircraft and all sorts of machines used for moving cargo from one place to another. IoT simplifies the process of managing a company’s fleet. It also lowers operational costs and can increase profits.

Making every asset that moves more efficient is hard work. That’s why the IoT management market is set to reach $16.86 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research. So if you’re making your own IoT predictions, don’t forget to include internet-connected fleets.

Connected Markets

Marketplaces can be more efficient when you adopt the power of data. IoT aids the exchange of goods at any physical location: may it be a shopping center, a warehouse or even a farm.

A deal becomes sweeter when you cut off the intermediary as it lowers the price. In like manner, connected devices enhance trade by removing inefficiency. Therefore, if you’re planning your own retail project, you should ask yourself “How many IoT devices are there in my growth strategy?”

Connectivity

You can group IoT devices based on the type of connection they require. For example, gadgets that need a lot of range and bandwidth will have cellular or satellite connection.

If a device transmits small amounts of data, the best option is to have an LPWAN or LoRaWAN connection. These technologies offer less bandwidth, but they make up for it in terms of energy efficiency.

Manufacturers can also choose between WiFi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet. These standards provide more bandwidth, but at the cost of shorter range.

And there are even more exciting IoT trends that will shape up our future.

The IoT Security Issue

Consider this: the number of connected devices in 2020 was more than two times the size of the world population. Almost all IoT machines have some security issues. It is a tremendous problem, and no one knows how to deal with it.

Hackers can easily breach a smart device and spy on the owners. They can get into industrial control systems, manipulate production lines, shut down factories, even cause shipwrecks.

Prospects are scary. There are real-world examples of hackers shutting down electrical grids and leaving hundreds of thousands of people without electricity.

A simple hack can turn your child’s smart toy into a spying device. Internet-connected medical devices can be compromised and lead to someone’s death.

The number of devices connected to the internet is going up, and you can expect more and more machinery to be online. As the stakes get higher, the pressure to solve this problem will rise as well.

It’s your problem too, by the way. Users are not in the habit of updating their smart devices’ software. For example, a stunning 60% of all Americans have never updated their routers’ firmware, according to Bitdefender. There are also numerous VPN routers that can keep your IoT devices safer.

Most cyber attacks happen because of weak credentials or out-of-date firmware.

To improve your IoT devices’ protection, you should consider getting one of the top antivirus solutions. Most can protect your entire home network, including IoT.

The Future is Connected

We cannot evade the technological revolution. Connectivity brings far too many benefits to neglect. Therefore, it will soon become something as natural as electricity or tap water.

Just think of how many IoT devices there are already. You’ve got fitness trackers sending data to smartphones. Or sensors measuring air pollution in real-time. And cars that run with the help of an app.

The number of IoT devices in 2020 was nothing compared to what the future holds. Connectivity opens up a world of new possibilities while introducing new risks as well. To the critics, I say – that’s how it always is. Change has always been about managing the risk while enjoying the freedom it has to offer.

ABOUT AUTHOR

A fan of servers, networks, and web hosting, I unplug from the Web only when the temptation for a cold one is too strong to bear.

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