Accenture: Phablets, IoT and connected cars set to dominate at CES

The Internet of Things (IoT), growth in phablet devices to the detriment of tablets, and connected cars are just some of the main trends to watch at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, according to Accenture.

John Curran, managing director in Accenture's Communications, Media and Technology practice, said in comments emailed to FierceWireless:Europe that IoT is likely to be one of the biggest stories at the event, which runs from Jan. 6-9 and has become a leading platform for operators and device makers to showcase new products and services.

"This year, CES will showcase products from less traditional markets more broadly than ever. New market categories will include clinical healthcare devices, home security and home automation," Curran noted.

He expects to see several announcements about new IoT partnerships focused on how to create viable and differentiating IoT business models. "Also, expect announcements about unexpected collaborations between consumer electronics manufacturers, IT service providers, and companies outside the consumer electronics industry," Curran added.

Furthermore, connected cars will demonstrate how they are becoming an integral part of the Internet of Things--and an extension of the smartphone.

"These cars will be able to check where you last had the engine on if you've lost it in a car park, or inform you about how ecologically friendly your driving is. We might also see 'mValet' services on show at CES. These are cars equipped with the tools to allow drivers to confirm card payments directly from their on-board unit," Curran noted.

In terms of more traditional "smart" devices, the trend is expected to be towards larger devices, in contrast to the focus on smaller and thinner smartphones in recent years.

"Phablets in particular have grabbed centre stage because a growing number of consumers prefer the bigger screens to view photos, watch videos and movies, and play video games," said Curran.

Yet although growth in phablets may be putting a squeeze on tablet sales, plenty is expected in both the tablet and smartphone segments "because they continue to serve large and growing markets," Curran observed.

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