China to lead in global robotics systems and drones spending in 2020

China will lead in drones and robotics systems (US$46.9 billion) in 2020, according to IDC. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China) (APeJC) will be the second largest region with US$25.1 billion in spending, followed by the US (US$17.5 billion) and Western Europe (US$14.4 billion).

China will also be the leader for robotics systems with US$43.4 billion in spending this year. The US will be the largest region for drones in 2020 with spending of nearly US$5.7 billion.

The global market for robotics systems and drones are expected to increase 17.1 percent to US$128.7 billion in this year. With a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.8 percent, worldwide spending will hit US$241.4 billion in 2023.Hardware will account for 60 percent of the robotics market with spending going toward robotic systems, after-market robotics hardware, and system hardware. Industrial robots and service robots will account for more than US$30 billion in 2020.

Robotics-related software spending will mostly go toward purchases of command and control applications and robotics-specific applications. Services spending will be spread across several segments, including systems integration, application management, and hardware deployment and support.

“Software developments are among the most important trends currently shaping the robotics industry. Solution providers are progressively integrating additional software-based, often cloud-based, functionalities into robotics systems,” said Remy Glaisner, Research Director, Worldwide Robotics: Commercial Service Robots at IDC.

“Equally important is the early trend driven by burgeoning ‘software-defined’ capabilities for robotics and drone solutions. The purpose is to enable systems beyond some of the limitations imposed by hardware and to open up entirely new sets of commercially viable use-cases,” he added.

Discrete manufacturing will be responsible for nearly half of all robotics systems spending worldwide in 2020 with purchases totaling US$53.8 billion. The next largest industries for robotics systems will be process manufacturing, resource industries, healthcare, and retail.

Spending on drones will be dominated by hardware purchases with more than 90 percent of the category total going toward consumer drones, after-market sensors, and service drones in 2020.

Drone software spending will primarily go to command and control applications and drone-specific applications while services spending will be led by education and training.

Consumer spending on drones will total US$6.5 billion in 2020, representing close to 40 percent of the worldwide total.

Industry spending on drones will be led by utilities (US$1.9 billion), construction (US$1.4 billion), and the discrete manufacturing and resource industries (US$1.2 billion each).

The fastest CAGR growth will come from the federal/central government (63.4 percent), education (55.9 percent), and state/local government (49.9 percent).

“We expect to see some price increases as drone manufacturers pass on the cost of tariffs imposed on the import/export of drones. The construction and resource industries will particularly feel the effects of these price increases. In contrast, many consumer drone manufacturers have chosen against raising prices and are absorbing the additional costs in order to maintain supply and to satisfy continuing consumer demand for drones,” said Stacey Soohoo, Research Manager, Customer Insights & Analysis at IDC.

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