IDC: 45.7M Wearables Will Ship This Year

Google Glass may have experienced a lackluster lifecycle, but wearables technologies aren’t dead yet. According to research firm IDC, wearable technology is expected to explode in 2015 thanks to the emergence of high-profile devices like the Apple Watch.

According to experts, 45.7 million wearable devices will ship this year. That figure is expected to rise to 126.1 million by 2019, leading to a 45 percent five-year compound growth rate.

“Smart wearables” will lead the charge, IDC said, as the Apple Watch and new smartwatches from Motorola and Samsung Gear gain traction among everyday consumers. While only about 4.2 million “smart wearable” devices shipped last year, the IDC said 25.7 million will ship this year. This growth will exceed that seen among more basic wearable technologies, such as fitness trackers.

“Smart wearables are about to take a major step forward with the launch of the Apple Watch this year,” IDC analyst Ramon Llamas said. “The Apple Watch raises the profile of wearables in general, and there are many vendors and devices that are eager to share the spotlight.

That doesn’t mean these more basic wearable technologies will disappear, Llamas added. “In fact, we anticipate continued growth here as many segments of the market seek out simple, single-use wearable devices.”

The market has often been skeptical about the ability for wearable technologies to gain traction among consumers, and Google’s decision to take Google Glass off the market was largely seen as confirmation of wearable technology’s unimpressive entrance onto the consumer electronic scene.

But IDC is not the first analyst to predict the success of these gadgets, and some experts believe that wearable technology could really take off outside the everyday consumer market and into the
B2B segment.



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