Market research firm IDC estimates global wearable devices shipment to grow 173 per cent in 2015 to 72.1 million units, from 26.4 million units a year ago. The ‘basic wearable’ device sales may grow 76 per cent to 39 million in the current year and 'smart wearable' devices sales expected to grow 683 per cent to 33.1 million, from 4.2 million in 2014, it said.
According to International Data Corporation Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, wearables market could maintain its growth in the first quarter of 2015, as new vendors, including Apple, prepared to enter the market. The report also estimated the sector to grow by 42.6% CAGR till 2019 to reach 155.7 million units.
"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."
According to him, smart wearable devices, which are capable of running third party apps, will beat basic wearables next year. “Smart wearables like the Apple Watch and Micosoft's Hololens are indicative of an upcoming change in computing, and the transition from basic to smart wearables opens up a slew of opportunities for vendors, app developers, and accessory makers," he added.
"Android Wear, Tizen, and WatchOS are moving ahead with improved user interfaces, user experiences, and applications. These will raise the expectations of what a smart wearable can do, and each platform is vying for best-in-class status. We're not there yet, but we're seeing the building blocks of what is to come," said Ramon Llamas, research manager, Wearables at IDC.