2015 was a banner year for wearables. Shipments jumped from the previous year as consumers flocked to strap on smartwatches like the Apple Watch and fitness trackers from Fitbit. International Data Corporation (IDC) now expects that 80 million wearables will ship before the end of the year. The next few years promise to show equally strong growth with global wearable shipments to top the 200 million mark in 2019 with smartwatches leading the charge.
IDC expects that 111.1 million wearables will ship in 2016, a 44.4% increase over this year. By 2019, that number will jump to 214.6 million units, an impressive five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28%.
While all segments of wearables are expected to show continued growth, smartwatch shipments are expected to show the strongest growth. From 34.3 million next year, they are expected to jump to 88.3 million in 2019, a five-year CAGR of 42.8%.
“In a short amount of time, smartwatches have evolved from being extensions of the smartphone to wearable computers capable of communications, notifications, applications, and numerous other functionalities,” noted Ramon Llamas , Research Manager for IDC’s Wearables team. “The smartwatch we have today will look nothing like the smartwatch we will see in the future. Cellular connectivity, health sensors, not to mention the explosive third-party application market all stand to change the game and will raise both the appeal and value of the market going forward.
As for smartwatch operating systems and platforms, IDC expects that Apple’s watchOS will continue to dominate as it has since its launch earlier this year. By 2019, it will account for just 51.1% of the market. Google’s Android Wear will follow with a 38.8% market share. Samsung’s Tizen is described as “the dark horse of the smartwatch market” but it is expected to account for only 2.8% of the market. Pebble follows closely behind with a 2.6% share with a variety of Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS) taking fifth.IDC’s latest numbers suggest that watchOS and Android Wear are not going anywhere but that there is still plenty of opportunity for a third option to establish itself as a strong contender.
Source : IDC