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Deloitte makes big revisions to its TMT predictions

Deloitte has made significant revisions to its annual TMT predictions with impacts on robotics, artificial intelligence and more.

Every year, Deloitte releases a top ten list of predictions for the Technology, Media and Telecommunications industry in Canada.

Unfortunately, this year is singularly unpredictable.

Based on a best guess of a quickly evolving environment, Deloitte has now released an update to their report, revising many of the predictions. Their assumptions for these new predictions include GDP being down 8.3% for the year, smartphone sales down 7-10% and ad spending down 5-10%  for the year.

Duncan Stewart, the Director of Research for TMT at Deloitte, has suggested that further revisions may come as the impact of further national shutdowns becomes more apparent.

Until then, here are the three biggest revisions in the new TMT report:

1. Professional service robot sales up, industrial robot sales down

Deloitte originally projected that sales of professional service robots – sold to the warehouse, logistics and medical verticals – would surpass industrial robot arms for the first time in 2020, growing nearly 30% over 2019 sales. Their prediction had industrial robot arm sales growing 10% in 2020. Now, the consulting firm is predicting a 40% year-over-year growth for professional service robots and a 10% decline for industrial robot arms. Why? Medical and warehouse robotics applications are surging while specialized industrial applications, like automotive and electronics, have slowed down due to COVID-19.

2. Video and game streaming seeing significant growth

Originally, Deloitte projected that content delivery networks (CDN) – which enable things like video streaming, software downloads and more – would reach US$14 billion in 2020, which was a 25% increase over 2019. However, with video and game streaming up significantly due to lockdowns, school closings and people working from home, demand for CDNs is skyrocketing and the new projection is 30-40% annual growth, up to as much as US$15.5 billion in 2020.

3. Demand for artificial intelligence chips will slow down

Artificial intelligence chips – the kind that accelerate or perform machine learning tasks on-device, rather than in a remote data centre – are becoming a more common feature in smartphones. In December, Deloitte predicted that more than 750 million AI chips would be sold, representing a total of US$2.6 billion in revenue. However, due to the predicted decline in smartphone sales (7-10% in 2020) and the assumption that sales of high-end devices – where these chips are most likely to be found – could be down even further, Deloitte has revised its prediction to 650 million chips worth US$2.2 billion.

Do you want to read the full list of revised predictions? You can find the PDF report here.