Worldwide shipments of wearable devices are expected to grow by 38.2% to reach 110 million by the end of 2016 and 237.1 million by 2020, according to IDC.
The IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker predicted that watches and wristbands – such as the Microsoft Band, which is powered by open cloud service Microsoft Health – will reach a combined total of 100 million shipments in 2016, up from 72.2 million in 2015. Other form factors, such as clothing, eyewear, and hearables, are expected to reach 9.8 million units in 2016 and will more than double their share by 2020.
However, growth will primarily be driven by the adoption of smartwatches.
“It’s time to start thinking about smarter watches – traditional watches with some sort of fitness or sleep tracking but are unable to run apps – built by classic watch makers,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “These devices have the potential of making the technology invisible while still integrating themselves within day-to-day activities. By creating smarter watches, vendors also stand to side-step some of the typical challenges that smartwatch platforms face. There’s no need to create a developer or app ecosystem for one thing, and there’s plenty of room for simpler devices that appeal to the average user while smartwatches continue catering to the technophiles.”
Smartwatches with an app ecosystem are expected to become more popular in the market as both products and experiences evolve.
“We expect to see major changes, with smartwatches that actually look like watches, user interfaces that are easier than swipes and gestures, applications that rival those on our smartphones, and connections to networks, systems, and other devices,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC's Wearables team. “This puts pressure on smartwatch platforms to develop further from where they are today.”
Share this story