The Apple Watch has been driving the wearables market – the company saw sales jump 60 percent in 2017, with 16 million units shipped.
That’s according to CCS Insight – in a new report on Thursday (Feb. 22), they predicted that worldwide wearables sales are forecast to grow an average of 20 percent annually during the course of the next five years, hitting $29 billion by 2022.
In the wearable category, CCS Insight said smartwatches are the most associated product, led by the Apple Watch. The firm estimated that around one quarter of the Apple Watch sales in the fourth quarter of last year were the Apple Watch that has built-in cellular, enabling consumers to make payments and phone calls.
“It's not surprising that traditional watchmakers are looking over their shoulders nervously at Apple, given the significant slice of the market it has secured in just three years. Our projections show that in 2018, Apple will come close to matching worldwide sales of Swiss-made watches, which sold 24 million units in 2017,” CCS Insight reported in a press release highlighting the results.
The research firm noted that not only traditional watchmakers are feeling the pain from Apple. Android Wear smartwatches have also failed to take off, with Google selling under 5 million units in 2017. CCS Insights predicts it will sell less than 6 million this year.
“Google has paid a heavy price for its recent lack of commitment to Android Wear. Attention seems to have shifted to its Pixel smartphones and Google Home products at the expense of smartwatches,” wrote CCS Insight.
As for fitness trackers, which used to be a big driver of wearable demand, the researcher said 40 million units were sold last year, which is down 23 percent from 2016 when shipments peaked. Fitbit and Huami are the leaders in the category, with combined market share of 80 percent. Huami is in first place as it goes after its home market of China.