IDC: Global wearable shipments to jump 173% in 2015

Graph - Going upDespite fears that the launch of the Apple Watch might affect global wearable shipments early this year, the first quarter showed no signs of slowing down. IDC reported earlier this month that more than 11 million wearable devices shipped in Q1 2015, up 200% over the same quarter a year ago to record their eighth consecutive quarter of growth. In its latest IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, IDC now expects those strong numbers will only continue with 72.1 million wearable devices to ship by the end of the year.

This growth will be dominated by basic wearables that cannot run third party apps this year. “The demand for basic wearables, those that do not run third party apps, has been absolutely astounding,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “Vendors like Fitbit and Xiaomi have helped propel the market with their sub-$100 bands, and IDC expects this momentum will continue throughout 2015.”

IDC expects smart wearables, devices capable of running third party apps, will take the lead next year. Ubrani suggests that devices like the Apple Watch and Microsoft Hololens eyewear are “indicative of an upcoming change in computing.” Despite trailing basic wearables this year, IDC raised its forecast for smart wearable shipments this year from an earlier 25 million to 33.1 million units.

Google Android Wear watches

IDC expects that competition in the smart wearable space will be dominated by Android Wear, Tizen and WatchOS. Quickly improving user interfaces, user experiences and applications will continue to raise consumers’ expectations about what smart wearables can and should do. As IDC puts it, “We’re not there yet, but we’re seeing the building blocks of what is to come.”

These expectations will drive a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.6% over the next five years, culminating in global wearable shipments of almost 156 million wearables in 2019. Of those, 89.4 million will be smart wearable devices with basic wearables accounting for the remaining 66.3 million shipments.

Source : IDC