As part of our session at Avnet’s partner event last month, we looked at sell-through data across Western Europe for the first quarter of 2015 and saw a good demand for smartphones and their accessories as well as for data-centre expansion modules and networking products.
While some of the infrastructure technology is purchased to cover current needs and to combat bottlenecks, it is also rolled out to prepare for expected future needs. With the ongoing growth in the use of smartphones and other mobile devices, we expect to see an increasing demand for network bandwidth and speed for all sorts of smart devices, including sensors.
A number of distribution partners are also seeing some demand for smart home and business capability but are still somewhat sceptical of the software that claims to combines all of these products to make them more user-friendly and easier to manage. Their concern is that, unless a user goes with a single product offering, they have to log in to different devices and apps to control the multitude of options that are available and this is cumbersome.
Many expect that as soon as Apple releases their HomeKit hub – whether that is the Apple TV or a different device – the standard that all will be measured against will be set. However, it seems that nobody expects any such standard to be available beforehand and, although the Google Nest products can be joined into one account, it seems that other (that is, third-party) products don’t subscribe to this interoperability. There is therefore an opportunity for an outsider to come in and provide a great experience that is easy to use and available on more than one ecosystem.
As well as a lack of offerings from smaller companies, we haven’t seen much from the other big name: Will Microsoft have something to bring us in the near future?