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Business

Smart connected consumer devices on the rise

Smartphones and tablets now account for over 60 percent of all smart connected devices globally, a new survey by analysis provider IHS Markit has shown. Mobile apps are already big money spinners.

Presenting its new study in Davos, Switzerland, IHS Markit pointed out that smartphones and tablets together accounted for roughly 60 percent of all smart connected devices globally, up from just 17 percent in 2008.

It said the global smartphone base was expected to grow from 4 billion at the end of last year to more than 6 billion smartphones in use by 2020. 

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IHS Markit noted that messaging and communications apps such as Line and WhatsApp would grow from 5 billion users in 2016 to 7.5 billion in 2020.

"Mobile innovations, new business models and mobile technologies are transforming every adjacent market as the mobile industry diversifies from the maturing smartphone market," the survey said.

Money spinners

The analytics company said global consumer spending on mobile apps was set to reach $74 billion (69 billion euros) by 2020, adding that Africa, the Middle East and Latin America would be the fastest-growing regions for the sector.

IHS Markit estimated there were more than 120 million active mobile money accounts in emerging markets in 2016.

"Mobile payments and commerce are central to mobile innovation and will be critical for future growth," the study said. "Mobile money services have been a vital tool for financial inclusion in emerging markets, but elsewhere, they're looking to complement or disrupt traditional payments and financial services through the launch of app-only banking services."

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