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IoT subscriber growth surpasses smartphone users' in January

The number of users subscribing to Internet-of-Things (IoT) services grew at a faster pace than those subscribing to smartphones in Korea on-month in January, data showed Sunday, on the back of the rising sales of wearable smart devices.

According to data compiled by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, the number of Koreans subscribing to IoT-related services shot up 83,577 in January from a month earlier, compared to the 70,097 new smartphone subscribers over the cited period.

IoT system working at home (Yonhap)
IoT system working at home (Yonhap)

IoT is a concept in which all tangible objects are connected to the Internet and can identify themselves to other devices in order to exchange necessary data for improved efficiency and convenience.

The figure compares to December, when the number of smartphone users increased 99,356, far outpacing the 63,473 posted by other IoT services.

Industry watchers cited the rising sales of wearable devices to the growth of the IoT market. The number of Koreans using IoT services through wearable devices is estimated to be 400,000.

As the figure only includes wearable devices with a subscriber identity module, industry watchers expect the actual number to be higher.

The demand for IoT services that connect to automobiles or utilities also gained ground over the cited period, the ministry added, speeding up the growth of the IoT industry here.

Local mobile carriers and tech manufacturers have been tapping deeper into the IoT industry as a new growth engine, especially as traditional businesses have started to slow. The ministry added the number of users utilizing IoT technologies will continue to grow, as firms are rolling out more related services for the home. (Yonhap)
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