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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 

Smart wristwear OS highlights:

watchOS, in its first year on the market, will quickly establish itself as the overall leader in the smart wristwear market and maintain its position throughout our forecast. IDC expects second and third generations of the Apple Watch will drive shipment volumes later in the forecast, particularly among those customers who take a wait-and-see approach. It will, however, see its market share erode as other platforms—particularly Android Wear—gain greater salience in the market.

Android/Android Wear will experience market-beating growth, with a combination of consumer electronics heavyweights and an expanding list of watchmaker brands also expected to launch their own smart watches in the years to come. Also helping Android/Android Wear's cause is the broader and deeper selection of devices at multiple price points that will appeal to a wide audience.

Pebble, one of the pioneers of the smart wristwear market, will see its market share decline even as overall volumes grow. Competitive headwinds from watchOS and Android/Android Wear will keep its overall growth in check, but its low prices, compatibility with Android and iOS-powered smartphones, and avid fan base will sustain its presence.

Tizen stands to be the dark-horse platform in the market. With Samsung opening up the Tizen SDK and making its Gear S2 and subsequent devices compatible with flagship smartphones from other Android OEMs, the total available market for Samsung has opened up significantly. Still, as a current small player in the market, Tizen must win over customers currently looking at other watches available for Android smartphones.

Linux jumped into the smart wristwear market in 2014, but since then few vendors have come forward to use it as the basis of their wearables strategy. Without any foreseeable additional support, IDC believes that OEMs will favour other platforms over Linux.

There will be a small, but nonetheless significant market for smart wristwear running on a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS), which is capable of running third-party applications, but not on any of these listed platforms. These tend to be proprietary operating systems and OEMs will use them when they want to champion their own devices. These will help within specific markets or devices, but will not overtake the majority of the market.


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