Connected Device Usage Rises, No Signs of Slowing, Study Finds

Assurant’s Connected Decade report found pandemic spurred connected device usage is not showing any signs of slowing, despite consumers being more savvy with their spending

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

June 13, 2023

2 Min Read

For the third year in a row, connected devices saw a boom in popularity last year, though economic uncertainty is slowing consumer spending on technology, new research has found.

Assurant’s Connected Decade report found there was a 39% increase in device usage in 2022, with 60% connecting a device to Wi-Fi for the first time. 

The emergence of 5G and the rise of smart home devices following  the pandemic were cited as catalysts for the increase.

“It’s great to see the increased device usage and addition of new devices in the home in the wake of the heavy investments consumers made in connected devices during the pandemic,” said Jeff Unterreiner, Assurant’s president of connected living. “It clearly shows just how reliant we have become on our devices and the benefits that connected living provides.”

Yet despite this increase, the cost of living crisis and global inflation has made customers more cautious this year, becoming less likely to spend money on devices.

On this note, findings showed only 39% of consumers are likely to upgrade their smartphones in the coming year, compared to 54% in the previous year.  

Customer awareness of and demand for device protection has also seen a rise, with cybersecurity and privacy support as primary factors in consumers choosing a provider.

“As we’ve seen in our past research, the more people use connected devices, the more value they place on device protection,” said Unterreiner. “Not only does this present an opportunity to OEMs and retailers who can offer value-added services as part of the sales process, but doing so will improve upon the customer experience.” 

The desire for sustainability is also driving consumer choice, with interest in refurbished devices and companies offering green initiatives gaining traction.  

While 35% of consumers surveyed said they would buy a refurbished device, almost half (48%) said they would pay a monthly fee to support environmental sustainability initiatives.  

“We all share a responsibility to ensure that sustainable practices are integrated into the entire device life cycle,” said Unterreiner. “As with smartphones, trade-in and asset value recovery programs can make a big impact across the connected living ecosystem.” 

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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