Despite slowing growth and challenges, China – with a population of nearly 1.4 billion – will have a booming technology market in 2015. That's among a list of technology predictions for 2015 that research firm IDC shares in a 17-page, year-end report. Nearly 500 million smartphones will be sold in China next year, three times the number sold in the U.S. and one third of global sales, says IDC.
"China will account for 43% of all information and communication technology spending growth," IDC chief analyst Frank Gens said in the report.
More than 680 million people in China will be online next year, or 2.5 times the number in the U.S., IDC says. The numbers in China are expected to grow, as the country's national initiative called the Broadband China Project has a goal of providing 95% of the country's urban population access to broadband networks.
Overall, China will spend more than $465 billion next year on information and communication technology, up 11%, IDC predicts.
Among other IDC predictions:
•Overall spending on tech and telecom will rise by 3.8% next year to more than $3.8 trillion, but there will be growth of 13% in what the research firm calls 3rd Platform technologies such as cloud, mobile, social and Big Data.
The 3rd Platform will demand, and enable, new approaches to information security, IDC says. In 2015, 15% of mobile devices will be accessed biometrically, growing to over 50% by 2020. Encryption as a service, powered by the cloud from a growing list of vendors, will be used for over 80% or regulated data by 2018.
The cloud market will hit $118 billion, growing to more than $200 billion by 2018. Amazon will come under three-way attack but will hold or gain share, IDC says. Its cloud service rivals include Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and China Telecom (NYSE:CHA). Many players below the top 10 will drop out of the market.
•Smartphone and tablet spending will hit $484 billion, generating 40% of all IT growth. Phablet momentum will accelerate, accounting for 18% of smartphone units sold, up from 11% in 2014. Wearable innovation will explode, but "unit sales will underwhelm in 2015."
•Internet of Things spending will exceed $1.7 trillion, a 14% jump from 2014, driven by nearly 15 billion devices. By 2020, this will rise to $3 trillion and nearly 30 billion devices. Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), IBM and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) will form a privately held IoT company to target industrial solutions.
•The overall Big Data and analytical market will reach $125 billion worldwide. Spending on rich media analytics will at least triple in 2015. In telecom services, wireless data will finally become the largest segment worldwide at $536 billion. It will also be the fastest-growing segment at 13%.
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