Deloitte revealed that sales of connected home equipment in the UK have barely grown over the past 12 months, with the high cost of smart home gear cited as a major factor.
A forthcoming Mobile Consumer Survey from the professional services company reveals minimal growth in key smart home products including thermostats and lighting systems that are controlled via smartphones, the Telegraph reports.
The company told the Telegraph that ownership of smart thermostats increased from 2 per cent in 2015 to 3 per cent today, while ownership of lighting systems that are operated using a smartphone remained flat at 2 per cent. To date, ownership of ‘smart’ security cameras stands at 3 per cent, and smart home appliances at 2 per cent.
Paul Lee, head of technology media and telecoms research at Deloitte, told the newspaper that key factors affecting uptake include a lack of clarity on the benefits smart home products offer, and the high price of current devices. Smart thermostats, for example, fail to appeal to the mass market in terms of their functionality and do not offer a significant enough reduction in energy bills, he said.
Deloitte’s consumer research found that 7 per cent of people plan to purchase a smart thermostat in the next year, and 6 per cent a home security camera. However, the Telegraph noted that those figures are barely up on figures from 2015, when 6 per cent said they intended to buy a thermostat and 5 per cent a security camera.
Price is a key factor in consumers’ purchasing decision, Lee said, pointing to smart TVs as an example.
While adoption of smart TVs is on the up -- the Telegraph published figures showing that UK ownership grew from 24 per cent in 2015 to 28 per cent this year -- Lee suggested that the growth is as much about the inclusion of connected technologies by TV manufacturers as consumer choice. Put simply, consumers are just buying a new TV that happens to come with smart functionality, rather than actively seeking out a smart device.
- see this Telegraph report
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