IDC: Smartwatch shipments to top 85 million by 2019

Graph - Going upIn its latest Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker report,IDC reports that growing demand for wearables will see global shipments reach 173.4 million units by 2019. In comparison, the market analysis firm expects 2015 shipments to hit 76.1 million units. Fueling much of that growth will be demand for smart wristwear, a category of devices that IDC defines as ones capable of running third-party applications. By 2019, smartwatch shipments could reach 85.1 million units.

“Smart wearables only account for about a third of the total market today while basic wearables, led by fitness trackers, account for the rest,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst for IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers. “Driven by advancements in user interface (UI) and features, smart wearables are on track to surpass the lower priced, less functional basic wearable category in 2018. Smart wearables will quickly move from a smartphone accessory primarily focused on notifications to a more advanced wearable computer capable of doing more processing on its own.”

IDC warns that consumers will need to choose their smart wearables carefully. “Different smart wristwear operating systems are compatible with certain smartphone operating systems, and sometimes with specific models. Beyond that, experiences and available applications will widely vary. Just as competition exists for different smart wristwear models, this competition carries over into the operating system landscape,” explained  Ramon Llamas, Research Manager, Wearables.

IDC: Top Five Smart Wristwear Operating Systems Shipments, Market Share

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, September 14, 2015

The Apple Watch and its WatchOS are expected to continue to dominate the smart wearables market for the foreseeable future. Overall market share will slip despite growing volumes as Android Wear shipments will grow faster. Pebble will also see shipments grow but overall market share fall. Samsung’s Tizen is billed as the “dark horse.” Should Samsung continue to broaden compatibility as it did with the Gear S2, it could grow faster than IDC currently predicts.

Source : IDC