Rollercoaster Year for The Electronics Industry

2020 has been a turbulent year for the electronics industry, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic impact and other factors such as Brexit, tariff wars and technology trends taking off. However, the electronics industry seems to be in good shape at the moment. According to Statistica, the global industry is expected to grow by around six percent between 2020 and 2021.

Sensor Market Growth

A recent study by Global Market Insights, the global sensor market is predicted to be worth over $3.5bn by 2026. This is partially due to the ongoing rise in factory automation trends and the use of industrial robots, largely due to new COVID19 distance labouring restrictions. There are many sensors inside robotics that cover a range of duties to ensure the device is at a stable condition and aware of its environment; these sensor duties include battery management, physical orientation, temperature management, motor drives and converters. In correspondence to this, as the demand for robotic labourers increases in 2020, so will the demand for the sensors that make up the device.

Artificial Intelligence Broadening

Artificial intelligence is the term for electronic intelligence and has created a huge marketplace for itself within the last decade. According to The Motley Fool, a PwC report estimates that AI will contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030 and is no surprise that AI has caught many investors and customers attention. Stated by cbinsights, in 2020, artificial intelligence will move from the hype state to practical usage and value, as corporations begin to harness its power. Data for AI will be a major theme throughout 2020, from new techniques that train AI on less data-to-data privacy protections gaining traction. Thanks to the latest technology and AI, many motor manufactures are launching electric vehicle models, with many adopting new wide-bandgap semiconductor power conversion technologies in their vehicles. However, unfortunately due to COVID19, UK car sales in April 2020 plunged to levels not seen since 1946, with only 4,321 new cars registered, according to research by the Guardian newspaper.

Trade Tariffs

Over the past two years, the world’s two largest economies have been locked in a bitter trade battle over the tariff of goods. China and the US imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods. According to BBC, ‘The US has imposed tariffs on some $250bn (£204.5bn) of Chinese goods, and China has retaliated with tariffs on $110bn of US products.’ Trump wrote on Twitter “We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them,”, causing more fuel into the fire. Never the less, since Trump also announced that existing 25% tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports will increase to 30% on 1 October 2019, the ‘Trade War’ seems to be under wraps.


The virus has affected the electronics industry in many different ways. The most obvious being postponed events, supply chain delays, lack of sales and increased demand for devices such as ventilators. The majority of large electronic events in 2020 were cancelled due to the virus.  Unfortunately, events which went ahead such as NürnbergMesse that usually welcomes around 150,000 visitors at the embedded world events, only saw approximately 900 visitors. Asides from events, there has been a rippling affect in supply chain delays due to the virus. IPC, an electronics equipment trade organisation, ran a survey which 65% of 150 participating electronics manufacturers and suppliers reported delays from suppliers due to the pandemic.

Environmental Awareness Increasing

Electronics allow us to monitor global warming changes such as rising sea levels, global temperature increase and greenhouse gas levels. With the advanced technology we have in 2020, it is easy to access environmental data and see the impacts we are causing on the planet’s wellbeing. Recent technology such as drones help monitor forest health and illegal logging. According to growing air foundation, the amount of oxygen produced by an acre of trees per year equals the amount consumed by 18 people annually and one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year.


Overall, 2020 has been a strange year for all industries; some benefiting from the virus and others weakened. Compared to other sectors such as transportation, events and travel, the electronics industry is in much better shape. We can only hope that with talks of a promising vaccine and the economy thriving as it was in 2019, the industry will contribute to develop heaps and bounds.

By Amy Leary, Marketing Manager at

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