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How To Fuel CE Growth? Security Concerns An IoT Barrier

An Accenture survey has found that heightened data security concerns, stagnant IoT market growth and falling demand for smartphones and tablets are issues the consumer electronics industry is set to face throughout the year.

The Igniting Growth in Consumer Technology survey polled 28,000 consumers across 28 countries, finding that for 47 per cent of respondents security concerns and privacy risks rank among the top three barriers to buying an IoT device and service.

Of the Australian respondents who indicated they either own or plan to buy an IoT device this year, 61 per cent stated they know that these products are capable of being hacked.

Among IoT device owners and those planning to buy a device in the next year, 34 per cent decided to be more cautious when using these devices and services and 27 per cent chose to postpone buying an IoT device or subscribing to an IoT service.

Additionally, 16 per cent of owners quit using their IoT devices or terminated their IoT services until they can get safer guarantees.

In terms of IoT device demand, the survey found that only 8 per cent of respondents stated they plan to purchase a smartwatch in the next year, along with similar stagnation for fitness monitors (13 per cent), wearable health devices (9 per cent), and smart home plugs and connected home surveillance cameras (each 6 per cent).

Meanwhile, the survey “highlights sluggish demand for traditional consumer technology devices”.

Of the Australian respondents, 38 per cent stated they intend to buy a smartphone this year. The number of people who stated they plan to buy a new TV or a tablet this year is also declining, with 25 per cent and 23 per cent planned purchases, respectively.

Sami Luukkonen, Accenture Electronics and High Tech group global managing director, stated the slowdown is “irrefutable, serious and global”, stating the market is now about “providing secure, innovative and practical digital services and more open collaboration”, with industry needing to provide “innovative, value-added services that consumers are able to use with confidence”.

“Despite all its promise, the Internet of Things market has revealed itself to be a double-edged sword,” Luukkonen additionally stated.

“The market opportunity is enormous, but security and ease-of-use concerns are hindering its near and long-term potential.

“To ignite this market, consumer technology companies should consider getting serious about ecosystems, sharing data and creating integrated services across multiple companies, such as building a connected home through an integrated home security camera, thermostat and door lock.

Luukkonen added that companies “need to consider investing more in innovative services and make consumers’ online lives more secure, convenient and enriching”.

“Until the promise of IoT meets consumers’ expectations, the IoT market will remain more promise than profit and do little to reinvigorate the overall digital consumer market,” he commented.

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