Canalys predicts that personal audio will be the fastest-growing smart tech segment

Canalys has released a new forecast for the smart tech sector in the coming years. The company projected that more than 3 billion smart devices would ship during 2023, rising at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% from 2019.

Smart personal audio is expected to be the fastest-growing category within that umbrella, with an anticipated 490 million units shipped in 2020. This segment includes Bluetooth headphones and earphones. Smart speakers are pegged as the second-fastest to grow at 150 million units shipped in 2020. Smartphones will likely continue to be the largest sector by volume, and could command more than half of all smart device shipments.

“The ambient computing paradigm is taking shape and getting ready for mass-market roll-out in the next five years,” Canalys Senior Analyst Jason Low said. “Smart devices, especially relatively new categories, such as smart personal audio devices, wearable bands and smart speakers, are forming multiple touchpoints to complete an intelligent ecosystem for consumers on the move, at work and at home. A lot of progress has been made in the past 12 months, and it will be the most important trend in consumer technology in 2020. It is becoming apparent to vendors that these devices are important as they offer different opportunities for user interactions and a more holistic approach to the user experience, as well as several key features that cannot be effectively achieved by smartphones alone.”

Anna Washenko