Canadian Underwriter

Worldwide shipments of wearable devices expected to grow 38.2% by year-end from 2015: International Data Corporation

March 21, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Worldwide shipments of wearable devices are expected to reach 110 million by the end of 2016, with 38.2% growth over the previous year, according to information from International Data Corporation (IDC).

By 2020, shipments of wearable devices will reach 237.1 million, International Data Corporation predicted

An expanding lineup of vendors, combined with fast-growing consumer awareness and demand, will generate double-digit growth throughout the 2015-2020 forecast period, said the global provider of market intelligence, advisory services and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. This will culminate in shipments of 237.1 million wearable devices in 2020, IDC said in a statement last week.

The IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker also suggested that the market will be driven forward by the proliferation of new and different wearable products. Watch and wristband shipments will reach a combined total of 100 million shipments in 2016, up from 72.2 million in 2015.

Other form factors, such as clothing, eyewear, and hearables, are expected to reach 9.8 million units in 2016 and will more than double their share by 2020, IDC said in the statement. “This will open the door for new experiences, use cases, and applications going forward,” IDC noted. “Still, the primary focus of the wearables market will be on smartwatches.”

“Although smartwatches like the Apple Watch or Android Wear devices capture the spotlight, they will only account for a quarter of all wearables in 2016 and will grow to about a third by 2020,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, in the statement. “It’s time to start thinking about smarter watches – traditional watches with some sort of fitness or sleep tracking but are unable to run apps – built by classic watch makers. These devices have the potential of making the technology invisible while still integrating themselves within day-to-day activities.”

Late last year, IDC predicted that the worldwide wearable device market would reach a total of 111.1 million units shipped in 2016, up 44.4% from the 80 million units expected to ship in 2015.

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