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Deloitte reveals the main 2014 trends in its international study of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications sector (TMT)

Babyboomers to witness the largest increase in smartphone ownership in Belgium

Instant messaging services on mobile phones (MIM) will account for more than twice the volume of messages sent by short messaging service (SMS), while the sales of smartphones, tablets, PCs, TV sets and video games are set to exceed $750 billion before plateauing due to continued convergence of consumer use.

Brussels, Thursday, 13 February 2014 – Instant messaging services on mobile phones (MIM) will account for more than twice the volume of messages sent by short messaging service (SMS), while the sales of smartphones, tablets, PCs, TV sets and video games are set to exceed $750 billion before plateauing due to continued convergence of consumer use. These are some of the top global technology, media and telecom predictions for 2014, outlined by Deloitte in its 13th edition of the Global TMT Predictions released today.

“Our report details many watched and often contended trends in the industry. For instance, while the sale of smartphones is expected to generate $375 billion revenue in 2014, these devices are nearing saturation among most age groups except the 55+ demographic, which will experience a steep increase in usage this year”, declared Vincent Fosty, Deloitte Partner and TMT Sector Leader in Belgium.

The 2014 TMT Predictions are based on worldwide research supported by in-depth interviews and input from Deloitte member firm clients, Deloitte Alumni, industry analysts, leading TMT executives and thousands of Deloitte professionals working in the TMT sector across our global network.

In short, according to Deloitte’s 2014 TMT Predictions, the following are the main trends which are likely to impact our market:

1.     The $750 billion converged living room: a plateau approaches – Global sales of smartphones, tablets, PCs, TV sets and videogame consoles will exceed $750 billion in 2014, almost double the 2007 total. However, a plateau appears likely, as sales are expected to continue to grow, but at a slower rate than over the past 10 years. With a penetration rate of more than 39% for smartphones and more than 30% for tablets in 2013, Belgium will most likely witness continuous growth in the sales of these devices in coming years.

2.     Short messaging services versus instant messaging: value versus volume – Instant messaging services on mobile phones (MIM) will account for more than twice the volume of messages sent via a short messaging service (SMS). In Belgium, 20% of smartphone owners used MIM on a weekly basis in 2013, compared to 8% in 2012. While it might seem that the growth in MIM comes at the expense of SMS and mobile carriers, the popularity of IM services is motivating consumers to upgrade to smartphones and expand their data plans. In response, mobile operators have launched new tariff plans featuring unlimited SMS bundles with different mobile data packages.

3.     Broadcast sports rights: premium plus – Worldwide, the value of premium sports broadcast rights is expected to increase to $24.2 billion, representing a 14% increase over 2013. In Belgium, Telenet has made an offer to obtain the rights of the Jupiler pro-League for 12 years at €900 million. This means €75 million per year in comparison with the €55 million which were paid in 2011. This huge increase can be explained by the interest of international actors such as Fox or the Italian company MP & Silva which boost the market.

4.     The smartphone generation gap: Over 55? There’s no app for that – People over 55 will represent the age group experiencing the fastest year-on-year increase in smartphone penetration across developed markets. In Belgium, with a penetration rate of 21% in 2013, the 55+ generation witnessed the largest increase in smartphone ownership (+ 88% for smartphones and + 150% for tablets compared to 2012.

However, while 2014 will mark the year of the baby-boomer, this group also presents its own set of challenges and opportunities. According to Vincent Fosty “getting baby-boomers to engage all functions of their smartphones and not simply use it as a feature phone represents a great opportunity for carriers. They need to be up to the challenge however, as we expect a quarter of these smartphone users may not download a single app.” Targeting people of 55 with specific services could therefore be particularly effective for the wireless carriers, so as to convert the install base into actual service revenues.

Read the full TMT Predictions 2014 report

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