Concurrently estimating the economic impact of a moving target is at best guesswork but economists have been staging low and high forecasts to provide governments and business leaders with guidance on how things will progress. What is clear is that recessions will happen for many economies.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is forecasting a global GDP contraction of 2.5% in 2020 far worst than during the global financial crisis of 2007-2008.
“The negative effect on growth will come via both demand and supply channels. On the one hand, quarantine measures, illness and negative consumer and business sentiment will suppress demand. On the other, the closure of factories and disruption to supply chains will create supply bottlenecks. The economic shock will be concentrated in the first half of this year, with regional variations that will follow the gradual spread of the pandemic across the globe,” said the EIU.
Canalys expects 718 million consumer IoT devices to be shipped by vendors in 2020. The firm warns of a strong downturn as COVID-19 continues to plough its way around the world. Vendor are responding to the downturn by becoming more proactive to weather the pandemic storm.
According to Canalys consumer IoT vendors are shifting focus to help users effectively work and learn remotely. With social distancing and lockdowns in effect, they are also targeting the need to stay connected with friends and family, as well as stay active and entertained during the crisis.
“Hearable vendors have shifted their marketing messages to highlight key benefits, particularly conference calling abilities. Consumers are looking for wireless audio devices that offer flexibility for work, education and play. Canalys predicts smart personal audio device shipments will increase by 15.5% in 2020 to become the fastest-growing consumer IoT segment this year,” said Cynthia Chen, research analyst for Canalys.
She added that more time spend sitting around means there’s also an opportunity for wearable bank vendors to increase engagement with users by promoting access to premium workouts and the accompanying devices that help them stay active.
Corporations should learn from COVID-19 and take heed of the productivity lost due to annual seasonal flu/influenza. Business Continuity Plan should increase focus on staff preparedness against Influenza and be part future audits. With the usage of earbuds getting more common for WFH (and WFO too), IoT devices with sensing capabilities such as earbuds that can sense fever, fatigue, respiratory rate (all early symptoms of the flu) will become a standard repertoire as is the laptop. I see that happening this year.
“Business Continuity Plan should increase focus on staff preparedness against Influenza and be part future audits. With the usage of earbuds getting more common for WFH (and WFO too), IoT devices with sensing capabilities such as earbuds that can sense fever, fatigue, respiratory rate (all early symptoms of the flu) will become a standard repertoire as is the laptop. I see that happening this year,” he concluded.
Canalys expects wearable bands to grow by 3.8% in 2020.
Canalys senior analyst Jason Low says China will be a key growth driver in 2020 as the country is confident that the pandemic is well under control.
Reflecting on the government’s strict regulatory measures, he expects economic activities will resume quickly and consumers will start to spend again. “The same will likely happen when countermeasures kick in,” he added.
But not everything is rosy as economic uncertainty remains. While vendors acknowledge the challenges that lay ahead, Canalys believed vendors must take additional actions to mitigate the impact.
“The pandemic will be the critical moment that splits future market leaders from laggards, depending on the actions companies take now. In addition to more proactive and targeted marketing to stay connected with consumers, it is a good time to form new partnerships, for example with new online service and content providers, to grow user bases for both parties with additional services targeting stay-at-home consumers,” said Low.