Each time I read M2M-related articles, there is a word jumping in front of everything else: vertical. The M2M market has been divided in vertical. A buzzword for market segment. Unfortunately, the universal adoption of the notion of vertical has been accompanied by a semi-standardization of market segments. Today, there are about seven verticals (read market segments). E.g. automotive, energy, health, and so on. Top 20 players in M2M field have adopted without much thought these segments. This is what i call “vertical limit”. Everybody copies everybody. This is bad for the future of the M2M market in general and for the market segments (verticals) yet to be discovered or identified.
A well-known speaker has once asked if there could exist a product halfway between a smartphone and a laptop. Not only he identified the corresponding market segment, but so big it went that today it threatens the supremacy of mass-market PCs and laptops. Unfortunately, I see the same pattern around the M2M verticals. Could there be other unidentified market segments ? In general it is wise to avoid betting against uncertainty.
The main problem arrises from the bad market segmentation and from the confusion between IoT and M2M(sim2sim if you want). As I have stated in a previous article, M2M is considered a synonym with SIM. On the other hand, IoT is just a way to connect any device to the global system and/or another device. The global IoT market is much bigger than the sum of the seven M2M verticals.
The IoT is not driven by the mobile communications only. The IoT is fueled by the desire to give autonomy to devices. It is more close to the field of artificial intelligence, swarm behavior and so on. More than that, IoT is much older than the mobile networks. There have been many prototypes of IoT in the 70’s and 80’s. Most of them have been failures due to the lack of enough resources They have been forgotten and buried in the junkyard of their creators.
I think there ought to be a clear separation between IoT and the seven verticals known as M2M. The R&D labs around the world should ask on a daily basis the fundamental question: is there another market segment that has been forgotten ? And if it is, how can my company position itself as market leader directly from start.
The new, broader and more flexible perspective gives a deeper understanding of Iot. And one thing is sure: IoT will play a major role in the next 50 years to come.