If you felt a little woozy after your latest gadget spending spree, you might want to sit down for this number: $2.1 trillion. That’s how much consumers worldwide are expected to spend this year on tech toys and services, according to Gartner Research.
And don’t expect the global economic crisis to slow spending on items like Angry Birds in Space, either: Tech spending this year is $114 billion more than 2011.
“The three largest segments of the consumer technology market are, and will continue to be, mobile services, mobile phones and entertainment services,” said Amanda Sabia, researcher at Gartner, in a statement. Mobile app stores and e-text content are set for “tremendous growth” by 2016.
“We fully expect consumers to more than triple their spending in these latter two categories by 2016,” Sabia said. Overall, consumers are expected to spend $2.7 trillion by the end of 2016.
Mobile services will account for $800 billion in worldwide spending in 2012, or 37 percent of all consumer tech dollars, according to the research firm. By 2016, that should increase to nearly $1 trillion. Mobile phones will account for $222 billion in consumer spending during 2012, or 10 percent of this year’s figure. That should rise to nearly $300 billion by 2016, Gartner said.
Entertainment — cable, satellite, Internet TV and online gaming — will account for $210 billion. But Gartner said the spending emphasis will remain on mobile dollars.
Although app stores and the stores’ content rake in just $18 billion now, that should jump to $61 billion by 2016, Gartner said. Likewise, revenue from reading on tablets and phones should more than triple from this year’s $5 billion to $16 billion by 2016.
While consumers are willing to pay for content they view as “worth it,” they will approve of ad-supported services only if those services come with free functions, such as cloud storage, VoIP, or email. Another finding is that some segments of the tech market are spurring growth in others.
The advent of all-you-can eat or umbrella data plans that cover all devices will increase hardware sales, for instance. To foster such growth, Gartner is advising that companies in different sectors team up to build a stronger ecosystem for tech consumers.