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IDC sees wearables market to crack 22.9% CAGR

Posted: 15 Sep 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wearables  wearable device  smart watch  Apple Watch  smart wristwear 

The worldwide market for wearable devices is expected to grow due to a growing list of vendors, a proliferation of devices, experiences and price points, and steady consumer adoption, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The IDC report, Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, reveals that wearable device shipments will reach 76.1 million units in 2015, up 163.6 per cent from the 28.9 million units shipped in 2014. By 2019, worldwide shipments will reach 173.4 million units, resulting in a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.9 per cent. Total shipments include both basic and smart wearables, which are two very different product categories in many aspects.

"Smart wearables only account for about a third of the total market today while basic wearables, led by fitness trackers, account for the rest," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC's Mobile Device Trackers. "Driven by advancements in user interface (UI) and features, smart wearables are on track to surpass the lower priced, less functional basic wearable category in 2018. Smart wearables will quickly move from a smartphone accessory primarily focused on notifications to a more advanced wearable computer capable of doing more processing on its own."

Driving the market and gaining attention is smart wristwear, including watches and bands, which are capable of running third-party applications. This includes the Apple Watch, Motorola's Moto 360, Samsung's Gear S-series and Pebble's Time.

"We are at a stage now where more vendors are getting into this segment, setting the stage for more selection and ultimately more volumes," said Ramon Llamas, research manager, Wearables. "Potential buyers wary of what is currently available will most likely be more interested once the second- and third-generation devices come to market with improved hardware and applications. From there, word-of-mouth and user-ambassadors will help to spur interest.

Smart wristwear OS

Top 5 smart wristwear OS shipments, market share and 5-year growth rate (units in millions). (Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker)

"Looking ahead, customers will need to pay close attention to the different operating systems (OS) that power smart wristwear," added Llamas. "Different smart wristwear operating systems are compatible with certain smartphone operating systems, and sometimes with specific models. Beyond that, experiences and available applications will widely vary. Just as competition exists for different smart wristwear models, this competition carries over into the operating system landscape."


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