The wearable device has become one of the hottest topics in the global tech industry once again since the iWatch went on sales few weeks ago, and the market for wearable devices has been forecast to be bigger and stronger. The total shipment of wearable device will reach 45.7 million units in 2015, up a strong 133.4% from the 19.6 million units shipped in 2014. By 2019, total shipment are forecast to reach 126.1 million units, resulting in a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45.1%, according to the data from the International Data Corporation (IDC).
IDC also reports that the total volume of smart wearables, including well-known ones such as Apple Watch, Motorola’s Moto 360, and Samsung’s Gear watches will reach 25.7 million units in 2015, up a whopping 510.9% from the 4.2 million units shipped in 2014. Basic wearables, or those devices that do not run third party applications, will grow from 15.4 million units in 2014 to 20.0 million units in 2015, resulting in 30.0% year-over-year growth
Commenting on the data, Ramon Llamas, Research Manager from IDC said that “Smart wearables are about to take a major step forward with the launch of the Apple Watch this year. The Apple Watch raises the profile of wearables in general and there are many vendors and devices that are eager to share the spotlight. Basic wearables, meanwhile, will not disappear. In fact, we anticipate continued growth here as many segments of the market seek out simple, single-use wearable devices.”
Currently, wrist-worn wearables, including bands, bracelets, and watches, account for more than 80% of all wearable device shipments. Modular wearable devices, which can be worn on any part of the body with a clip or a strap, are second popular kind. Clothing is the third category and is expected to grow the fastest as companies embed items like shirts, socks, hats, and other products with computing power. Eyewear is a smaller category, which IDC expects to first catch on among enterprise users within select vertical markets. Finally, earwear will comprise a small part of the overall market as earphones expand from audio to include health and fitness features.
The global wearable device market is growing, thanks to a combination of new vendors, new devices, and greater end-user awareness, which will drive the worldwide wearables market bigger over the next few years, while “the explosion of wearable devices was clearly led by fitness bands, which until recently commanded prices that provided comfortable margins, but those days are changing,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director of IDC. “The price of these fitness bands have come down so significantly in some markets that smartphone OEMs are now bundling them with smartphones at little cost. Meanwhile, the market is quickly shifting toward higher-priced devices that offer greater functionality.”