Deloitte 2020 tech predictions: AI-embedded smartphones, private 5G networks and 1 million enterprise robots sold

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 10/03/2020 | 17:07

More than 750 million AI chips embedded in portable devices such as high-end smartphones will be sold this year, according to Deloitte 2020 Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions, generating an estimated US$2.6 billion in global revenue. Smartphones are expected to sell 1.56 billion units in 2020, after a weak 2019, which saw sales decrease by 2.5% year over year, accounting for a US$484 billion market, according to the study.


AI chips are capable of performing or accelerating machine learning tasks on-device, with a range of capabilities including biometrics, facial detection and recognition, anything to do with augmented and virtual reality, image filters, voice recognition, language translation, voice assistance, improvement of the quality of the photos taken by the phone cameras. The use of AI chips will eliminate the user’s need to have a device always connected to the internet, the study explains, and will make the devices work better, faster and use less power. Embedded AI chips devices will also improve security and privacy and can have accessible prices for customers. To date, companies such as Samsung, Apple and Huawei use AI processors.

When it comes to 5G, Deloitte 2020 TMT Predictions estimates that, by the end of 2020, more than 100 companies worldwide will have begun testing private 5G deployments, either by purchasing their own infrastructure while contracting for operational support from a mobile operator, or by building and maintaining their own 5G network using their own spectrum. Collectively, these more than 100 companies will invest a few hundred million dollars in labor and equipment. This represents an option for the very large players that want to take advantage of the tremendous benefits of 5G – such as ultra-reliability, high speed, low latency, power efficiency and high-density wireless connectivity – and do not want to connect to a public 5G network. Ports, airports, and similar logistics hubs are expected to be among the first movers towards private 5G networks, the study reads.

By the end of 2020, Deloitte study predicts that almost 1 million robots will be sold for enterprise use and over 50% of them will be for human assistance, mainly outside the manufacturing process, and the rest will be industrial robots, with mechanical arms, used in heavy industries. The industrial robots market, which is dominated by China, where 154,000 industrial robots were sold in 2018 (36% of the global industrial robot demand), followed by Japan, the United States and South Korea, will grow by 10% in unit sales in 2020, the study estimates.

Nevertheless, the robot sales remain dominated in terms of units by the consumer segment, which includes robots designed for tasks such as vacuuming, mowing the lawn, washing windows, as well as entertainment robots, mainly toys made in Asia. Out of the almost 22 million robots sold globally in 2019, 97% were consumer and only 3% enterprise robots.

“Romania is following the global trends and technology adoption is a topic often stressed by both private and public sector. Our country could be an early adopter of high-end smartphones with embedded AI chips, considering the rise of the local premium smartphones market. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen to what extend the developments of the global technology trends will be affected by the recent outbreak of coronavirus, whose effects range from cancellation of major specialized events, such as the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, to the slowdown of production in China, which remains a key supplier for the global technology market,” said Andrei Ionescu, Partner-in-Charge Management Consulting and Risk Advisory, Deloitte Romania.

Deloitte’s annual TMT Predictions provides an outlook on key trends in the technology, media and telecommunications industry sectors worldwide.

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Mihai-Alexandru Cristea | 28/06/2024 | 12:25
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