IDC: Wearables Market Gains Momentum

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According to IDC the global wearable device market is already expanding beyond early adopter status, with 2014 shipments set to grow by 300% from 2013 to 19 million units before swelling to 119m  units in 2018 with a CAGR of 78.4%.

WearableComplex accessories such as the Nike+ FuelBand, Jawbone UP and Fitbit will lead the market through 2018, thanks to ease of use and low prices. "Complex accessories have succeeded in drawing much-needed interest and attention to a wearables market that has had some difficulty gaining traction," the analyst says. "The increased buzz has prompted more vendors to announce their intentions to enter this market."

Meanwhile smart accessories (wearables able to handle 3rd party apps but still require tethering to an IP-capable device) should gain momentum through the forecast period, before beating accessory shipments by 2018.

Autonomous smart wearables such as Google Glass, on the other hand, still need to convince potential customers to shift to a new user experience as well as a robust app ecosystem.

Either way, IDC says "[i]t is not a question of "if," but "when" wearables as a whole will extend into the enterprise."

When it comes to vendor popularity, an IDC ConsumerScape 360° survey of 50000 consumers in 26 countries lists Samsung as the most trusted wearables brand. Apple, Sony and Google follow.

Go IDC WW Wearable Computing Device 2014-2018 Forecast