Top tech trends for 2020
As we begin a new decade I wanted to look at what will most likely be the biggest tech trends in 2020, and for the next few years. Getting in early on any new big tech trend can pay off big time.
The 5G boom has only just begun in 2019, and is forecast to gain momentum in 2020/21 and soar by 2022. By 2024, it is expected that 1.5 billion people around the world will be connected to 5G networks. 5G growth is forecast to be a massive 96% CAGR from 2019 to 2025, noting this is coming from a very small base in 2019. To get an idea of the rapid growth, just in October 2019, China launched 5G in 40 cities. Apart from China, 5G services are already being rolled out globally led by South Korea, US, UK, and Australia. Canada and Singapore should see significant 5G growth in 2020. Some leading 5G companies include Huawei Technologies (private) (5G infrastructure, 5G smartphones & modems), Samsung Electronics (OTC: SSNLF) (5G infrastructure, 5G smartphones), Nokia (NYSE: NOK) (5G infrastructure), Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) (5G infrastructure), China Tower Corp. (OTC: CHWRF) (the world’s biggest mobile tower company and responsible for much of China’s 5G rollout), Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) (5G smartphone modems), and Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ: SWKS) (5G receiver antennas, filters, 5G power amplifier module).
Mobile payments and ‘Tap & Go’ payments
The global payments market today is still very new and is said to be worth around US$3 trillion in global revenues. In February 2019 PayPal CEO Dan Schulman told CNBC that the digital payments industry may become a $100 trillion market. China has led the way but the US and much of Asia are catching on fast. The mobile payment leaders are currently by far Tencent (OTC: TCEHY) (WeChat Pay) and Alibaba (NASDAQ: BABA) (AliPay), with Paypal (NASDAQ: PYPL) third. The big smartphone companies follow – think Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) Pay and Samsung (OTC: SSNLF) Pay. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Pay, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (Android Pay), and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) Pay are also playing catch up. Facebook introduced Facebook Pay on November 12, 2019 but are likely to grow fast given their massive 2.45 billion monthly active users. The credit card companies Visa (NASDAQ: V) and Mastercard (NASDAQ: MA) are still doing well helped by the popular “Tap & Go’ technology using a credit card.
The booming esports sector driven by millennials (many in China) has been forecast to grow at CAGR of 22.3% to 27.4% over the next few years. In recent years esports competitions have become very popular. Some examples are League of Legends, Dota 2, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), StarCraft, WarCraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Fortnite. Just last year player prize money grew rapidly with the 2019 Dota 2 champions winning more money than top Wimbledon players. Each player won over US$ 3.1m!
Some key names in the sector include Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) (game maker), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) (game maker), Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) (game maker), Tencent (OTC: TCEHY) (game maker/publisher and streaming), Huya (NYSE: HUYA) (streaming), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Twitch (streaming), Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) (chips), and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD) (chips). The VanEck Vectors Video Gaming and eSports ETF (ESPO) (LN: ESPO) gives a nice broad coverage.
ESports players win US$ 3.1 million each at the Dota 2 championships in 2019
Artificial intelligence (AI)
AI basically refers to machines that can learn and hence evolve to become smarter and solve a problem. Some examples include online chatbots, facial and voice recognition, autonomous driving and so on. Many think AI will be the biggest tech trend of the next decade and they could well be right. There are literally thousands of listed companies involved in AI but the big tech companies still dominate. These include Facebook, Alphabet Inc., Amazon, Apple, Samsung Electronics, Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), IBM (NASDAQ: IBM), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA), Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) and many more.
The advent of 5G will help the 2020s become the decade of data use and greater automation of our world. Established tech trends such as the internet, online shopping, cloud computing (including SaaS) and storage will all grow bigger in the 2020s. Added to this the 2020s will see the evolution of smart cities and smart homes under the umbrella term the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). In the 2020’s the use of robots (or connected devices) and automation will become increasingly common. The use of nanotechnology is a broader trend with some tech involvement. For example, using nanoparticle technology embedded in goods (or their QR code) to detect counterfeit goods using your smartphone. Another is the electrification of the transport sector which will be incorporating things such as smart connected cars and autonomous vehicles.
The 2020s will no doubt bring rapid change led by the technology sector.
A few names involved in the tech sector that we follow at InvestorIntel include:
- Exro Technologies Inc. (CSE: XRO | OTCQB: EXROF) – AI technology that works for generators, electric motors, and also for batteries.
- Izotropic Corporation (CSE: IZO) – 3D imaging (CT) with a 360 degree view to help detect breast cancer.
- Moovly Media Inc. (TSXV: MVY | OTCQB: MVVYF) – Provides a cloud-based platform that enables users to create and generate multimedia content.
- Nano One Materials Corp. (TSXV: NNO) – Using nanotechnology and a scalable industrial process for producing low cost, high performance, battery materials.
- Siyata Mobile Inc. (TSXV: SIM | OTCQX: SYATF) – A leading global developer and provider of cellular communications systems for enterprise customers, specializing in connected vehicle products for fleets.
- SmartCool Systems Inc. (TSXV: SSC) – A global clean technology company that uses unique retrofit technologies that can reduce the energy consumption of compressors in air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump systems by up to 40%.