Number of Wi-Fi devices per household stops growing in 2017

Friday 1 December 2017 | 11:32 CET | Background

The number of Wi-Fi connected devices in Dutch households has stopped growing. According to a survey by Telecompaper in the autumn, 59 percent of Dutch consumers have between four and ten Wi-Fi devices at home, the same as in the summer of 2016. Just over a third (35%) said they have 1-3 Wi-Fi devices, also unchanged from a year ago. Only 6 percent have more than ten Wi-Fi devices, while the average across households is five, the Telecompaper Consumer Insights panel found.

The figures suggest the market has reached a saturation point. This is clear in the smartphone and tablet segments, where penetration growth has slowed significantly and replacement cycles are lengthening. Other connected devices have an even longer replacement cycle, such as TVs, lamps and appliances, and consumers have also been slow to take up the more expensive 'smart' versions of some home goods. 

Households with kids have more devices

On average, households with children have 6.4 Wi-Fi devices, more than homes without kids, with an average four Wi-Fi devices. Half of households without children (48%) have 4-10 Wi-Fi devices, compared to 71 percent of those with kids. Only 2 percent of households without children have more than 10 Wi-Fi devices in the home, versus 12 percent of households with children.  

Higher income leads to more devices

The survey also shows that the number of devices increases with household income. Half of households with below the median income (EUR 30,000 per year) have just 1-3 Wi-Fi devices, while more than eight in ten households with over twice the median income (> € 80,000) have 4-10 Wi-Fi devices, and 11 percent of this group has more than 10 devices in the home. 

Notable in the income figures is that 10 percent of households with 1-2 times the median income have more ten Wi-Fi devices at home, while the figure is just 3 percent for the income group above that. This may be explained by age differences, as the income group with twice the median income tends to include more older people. 

While 2017 showed a stabilisation in the figures, we expect further growth in the number of Wi-Fi devices in the years ahead. While smartphones, laptops and tablets are not growing much anymore, new connected devices are coming on the market and will become more affordable. As consumers replace existing TVs, audiovisual equipment and appliances, they are more and more likely to buy 'smart' versions with Wi-Fi, as well as add new devices such as wearables, smart speakers and smart home equipment like IP cameras and smart thermostats. 

This research is based on the Telecompaper Consumer Insights Panel and data collected from 2014 to 2017. Panel participants are aged 12-80, and results are stratified according to age, gender and education. For more information on research opportunities with the panel, please contact research@telecompaper.com.

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