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Smart wearables huge opportunity for vendors, as market sees 170% growth

By Shannon Williams, 22 Jun 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The wearable market is forecast to grow more than 170% in 2015 as Apple enters the scene, demonstrating what industry experts say is astounding demand.

According to industry analysts IDC, there will be 72.1 million wearable devices shipped in 2015, up 173.3% from 2014, which saw 26.4 million units shipped. 

As the market maintains its upward trajectory, shipment volumes are expected to reach 155.7 million units shipped in 2019, demonstrating a CAGR of 42.6% over the five-year period. 

"The demand for basic wearables, those that do not run third party apps, has been absolutely astounding," says Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, worldwide mobile device trackers, IDC. "Vendors like Fitbit and Xiaomi have helped propel the market with their sub-$100 bands, and IDC expects this momentum will continue throughout 2015."

"We expect smart wearables, those capable of running third party apps, to take the lead in 2016," Ubrani adds. 

"Smart wearables like the Apple Watch and Micosoft's Hololens are indicative of an upcoming change in computing, and the transition from basic to smart wearables opens up a slew of opportunities for vendors, app developers, and accessory makers."

Ramon Llamas, research manager, wearables, says growth in the smart wearables market points to an emerging battleground among competing platforms. "Android Wear, Tizen, and WatchOS are moving ahead with improved user interfaces, user experiences, and applications,” he says.

“These will raise the expectations of what a smart wearable can do, and each platform is vying for best-in-class status.”

Llamas adds, “We're not there yet, but we're seeing the building blocks of what is to come."

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