TMT predictions 2020


Smartphone multiplier market, industrial 5G and enterprise robots among technology, media and telecoms predictions for 2020

16 January 2019 The technology, media and telecommunications practice at Deloitte has announced it predictions for the sector in 2020. Now in its 19th year, Deloitte's annual TMT Predictions provides an outlook on key trends in the technology, media and telecommunications industry sectors worldwide.

A smarter smartphone

The smartphone multiplier market (hardware, content, services e.g. selfie sticks, ringtones and mobile apps) will drive approximately €412 billion of revenue in 2020 alone and will grow between five to 10 percent annually through 2023, lifted by continued robust growth in its largest components.

Daryl Hanberry, Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications at Deloitte Ireland, said:

Deloitte research shows that 91% of Irish people own a smartphone. However, while ownership ownership rates may be approaching a ceiling, the smartphone economy is just getting started and it is an industry brimming with potential. From earbuds to mobile apps or business storage, we see the multiplier market across hardware, content and services to be a large revenue driver in 2020.

Industrial 5G will spark productivity gains, as more than 100 companies will begin testing private 5G deployments in 2020

For many of the world’s largest businesses, private 5G will enable ultra-reliable, high-speed, low-latency, power-efficient, high-density wireless connectivity. Deloitte predicts that more than 100 companies worldwide will be evaluating or have deployed 5G in industrial environments such as factories, ports, and logistics centres by the end of 2020.

Hanberry commented:

5G is poised to be the most disruptive mobile technology since the mobile phone itself. The way we work fundamentally changed by the launch of 4G and Wi-Fi. 5G will bring a similar transformation to the connectivity of machines and devices, delivering a boost to productivity in factories and warehouses, in particular.

Man and machine will move closer, as one million robots will be sold for enterprise use in 2020

Deloitte predicts that almost one million robots will be sold worldwide for enterprise use in 2020.   

Of the almost one million enterprise robots forecast to be sold in 2020, just over half are predicted to be professional service robots, generating more than €14 billion in revenue, a 30 percent rise on 2019. In comparison, industrial robots are expected to account for €16 billion in 2020, a nine percent year-on-year increase.

Electricity will put the wheels on cycling, with 130 million e-bikes set to be sold in the next three years

Deloitte predicts that the proportion of people who cycle to work will grow by one percentage-point over the next three years, equating to tens of billions of additional bicycle rides per year.

The growth in bike-riding is supported by the launch of e-bikes, as well as a diverse array of technological innovations. Deloitte predicts that between 2020 and 2023, more than 130 million e-bikes will be sold globally. This is more than six-times the number of electric vehicles that are forecast to be sold in the entirety of the next decade.* 

Hanberry commented:

The first patent for electrifying a bike was filed in the nineteenth century, however 2020 will be the year that e-bikes pick up pace. Improvements in lithium ion battery technology, pricing, and power has led to a significant surge in interest globally. The number of e-bikes on the roads worldwide will easily outpace other e-vehicles by the end of next year. Here in Ireland, clarity on the regulatory rules around such modes of transport will be required in order for this to transpire here.

Deloitte’s research highlights technology’s pedal-power in bringing cycling to the mass market, which in turn will help cities manage the strain of urbanisation. According to the last census in 2019, cyclists accounted for three percent of commuters in Ireland.  

E-bikes make cycling less of a physical effort, opening it up to many who might have hesitated before. Meanwhile, technology innovations including predictive analytics, wireless connectivity, digital urban planning tools and 3D-printed parts will launch with the aim of making cycling safer, faster, more convenient, and easier to track and measure.

The ears have it – the rise of audiobooks and podcasts

In 2020, the global audiobook market will grow by 25 percent to over €3 billion and the global podcasting market will increase by 30 percent from 2019 to reach just under €1 billion in 2020.

Hanberry commented:

In a world where overall media and entertainment growth stands at just 4 percent, 25 to 30 percent annual growth is impressive, even considering the low absolute base. The signal is clear - audiobooks and podcasts are outgrowing their “niche” status to emerge as substantive markets in their own right.

The key challenge for podcasts, in particular, will be monetisation. Despite having multiple revenue streams – including advertising and sponsorships, subscriptions, events, merchandise, content marketing, contracts for branded podcasts - we believe that podcasts will have a very hard time catching up to audiobooks’ ability to monetise listeners. One of the biggest difficulties is simply the sheer number of podcasts that are available for free.

Concluding, Hanberry said:

In 2020, we will start to see a canopy effect where industry players will work more closely together as individual technologies like edge AI chips, robots and private 5G become better connected, and promising innovations like low-earth orbit satellites finally come to life. This year’s predictions are a helpful guide for TMT business leaders to break through the clutter and understand what to do next in order to be successful in 2020 and beyond.



Notes to editors


*Deloitte forecasts that around 21 million electric vehicles will on the road globally over the next ten years.

About the TMT Predictions 2020

The 2020 series of TMT Predictions is the 19th edition of the report and has drawn on internal and external inputs from thousands of conversations with member firm clients and contributions from Deloitte member firms’ partners and managers specialising in TMT, and discussions with industry analysts as well as interviews with leading executives from around the world and proprietary quantitative research.

About Deloitte TMT

The Deloitte Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) industry group brings together one of the world’s largest pools of deep industry experts – respected for helping shape some of the world’s most recognised TMT brands and helping companies of all shapes and sizes thrive in a digital world.

About Deloitte

At Deloitte, we make an impact that matters for our clients, our people, our profession, and in the wider society by delivering the solutions and insights they need to address their most complex business challenges.

As the largest global professional services and consulting network, with over 312,000 professionals in more than 150 countries, we bring world-class capabilities and high-quality services to our clients.

In Ireland, Deloitte has approximately 3,000 people providing audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Our people have the leadership capabilities, experience and insight to collaborate with clients so they can move forward with confidence.

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte Ireland LLP. The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press. Deloitte Ireland LLP is the Ireland affiliate of Deloitte NSE LLP, a member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”). DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL and Deloitte NSE LLP do not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more about our global network of member firms.

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